- 16 Aug
Fall Home Maintenance: Get Your Home Ready for Fall and Winter
Once Labor Day weekend is here, it is important to do theses fall home maintenance projects to take advantage of the still nice warm end of summer, beginning of fall weather inside and outside your home, to get it weather-ready for fall and winter. Here is a simple checklist for you to help get you started.
First Check on Your HVAC or Furnace
Replace your furnace filter, which you should do every three months on average. Then test your HVAC system to see if there are any issues with heating your home. If your HVAC unit is older and you notice something off with it during the test run, you should call in a quality HVAC professional to come and service it to prevent a sudden heating emergency in the middle of winter and your family is left without heat.
Clean Your Gutters
The beginning of the fall season is a great time to clean out your gutters, clearing out all the leaves, dirt, sticks and other debris collected over the past several months. As the leaves finish falling off the surrounding trees, you should also clean out the gutters one last time to ensure the debris from falling leaves is emptied in time for winter. In addition, run a snake through the downspouts to ensure that the gutters are draining correctly. And while you are already on the ladder clearing out your gutters, look around at your roof and see if there are any missing or damaged shingles that need replaced.
Prep Your Lawn
Now would be an excellent time to fertilize or aerate your lawn before winter starts. Even though the grass blades above ground appear to stop growing in the winter months, the roots are actually still growing, and the fertilization and aeration get them primed for this colder season. As the leaves fall off the trees, it’s a good idea to keep your lawn cut short. A shorter lawn will make raking up all the fallen leaves a much easier task you can take care of fairly quickly.
Clean the Exterior
You will now want to fire up your power washer and clean the exterior of your house thoroughly. Power washing includes all the siding, deck and windows. As you wash the siding, keep an eye out for any defects, like peeling or buckling. If you come across any, you should hire a professional to replace the panel or fix the more significant issue underneath, like mold or other water damage. Also put away any summer furniture you don’t want to leave out on your deck during winter, or cover them up with fitted lawn furniture covers.
Insulation Throughout the Home
Keep your home well insulated, it will increase your home’s energy efficiency and decrease your energy bills. Check the doors and windows for any air leaks. You can do this by running your hand around the perimeter to see if you feel any drafts. If you come across any, be sure to re-caulk them. If you like, you can also weatherstrip your windows and doors to create a tighter seal to keep warm air in and the elements out. Now is a good time to swap your storm doors in if you have those as well.
Other Fall Home To Do’s to Consider:
Don’t forget to remove your garden hose and turn off the water supply to exterior faucets.
As is recommended by your local fire depts, each year in the fall be sure to change the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
Deep clean your grill and prepare it for storage, unless you still enjoy grilling out all year round, like we do.
Did you know that you can change the direction of ceiling fans to create and upward draft and move around the warm air from the ceiling?
Do a checklist to make sure you have all the proper snow clearing gear and equipment ready to go and in working order before the first snowflakes begin.
Check your driveway for any cracks and seal them up to prevent further damage during the cold frigid winter months.
About the Author
My journey as a Cleveland home inspector began 15 years ago when I was buying real estate properties in Ohio. Because they were my investments, I wanted to make sure I was getting a great deal, so I decided to learn everything I could about general home inspections.