Monthly Archives: September 2014

Fall Maintenance Checklist

Fall is the perfect time to begin prepping your home for the cold winter months. Here are some tips to help you easily prepare your property for colder weather so it can come out on top when the elements are harsh.

  • Regularly clean your downspouts and gutters. Make sure the drainage areas are not blocked by leaves or any kind of debris. If you want to make the job even easier, you can consider buying gutter guards.
  • Use a screwdriver to test the trim around your home for cracks or holes. If there are any holes, use caulk to fill them or consider completely replacing the wood.
  • Inspect your roof, or have a professional inspect it for missing shingles or cracks. If the shingles are buckling, replace them. If there’s a lot of damage, you should probably replace the whole roof. Also check around skylights, pipes, and chimneys. If you have any gaps, heavy snow and ice will make its way in.
  • You’ll want to prevent your exterior pipes from freezing and bursting when the temperatures get extremely frigid, so turn off the valves to the exterior hose pipes. Run the water until they are completely empty, and make sure that all water is drained from them. If you don’t, water will freeze in them and damage the pipes.
  • Have your fireplace inspected, cleaned, and repaired if necessary to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Insulate any exterior pipes with heating tape or any other warming substance. It will save you time and energy in the winter, while preventing any freezing.
  • Contact a professional heating contractor to inspect and service your heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Check your attic to make sure that the installation is installed properly. To install attic insulation, unroll it with the paper side out. Install small pieces of insulation between the joists on the attic floor, and make sure not to step between them.

Because there will be a change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink dramatically. Make sure to check your windows and doors inside and out for any type of leaks or drafts. Caulk any cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including your garage door. Replace any screens with storm doors and clean them if possible.

Next is lawn care.

  • Rake up leaves that settle on your lawn. Large leaves in particular, especially when they get wet, and they can compact to the point where they suffocate your lawn and lead to insect and disease problems.
  • Put the leaves that you raked up in the compost pile or you can even use it as much. Don’t waste the fallen leaves because they’re a good source of nutrients. You can also add them to your flower beds, using them as a “winter blanket” for your garden.
  • Each fall, you should do a check up of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace them with new batteries. These are vital aspects of your home.
  • Always install your carbon monoxide detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases they should be installed near potential sources of the odors byproduct, and within ear shot of the living and sleeping areas.