The leaves are changing colors, the air has turned cool, and there are pumpkins literally everywhere.
This can only mean one thing – it must be Fall! Get your home maintenance checklist handled just in time for winter.
This is a great time of year to get outside and give your home the once-over.
Give Your Humble Abode Some TLC with This Home Maintenance Checklist
With a little love and attention, your home can remain the comfortable, energy-efficient, safe haven you’ve come to rely on.
Here are few things you can do to make sure your home feels the love this fall.
- Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Or better yet, have gutter guards installed. This will help prevent drainage issues that could damage your roof, walls or foundation.
- Close your crawl space vents. These vents help circulate the air under your home and prevent mold and mildew from building during the summer. But in winter, when the air is dryer and much colder, closing these vents helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Check the seals around windows and doors. Just a small crack can let lots of heat escape from your home increasing your heating costs. Fall is a perfect time to re-seal them, so you will have a warm, cozy space this winter. And don’t forget to check any other openings in your house such as areas where utility cables enter. These should be caulked as well. Here’s a simple, easy video explaining how to do it yourself.
- Freezing temps and water don’t mix, so be sure to winterize your irrigation system if you have one. If you’re not up for the job, lots of landscapers offer this service. Also, be sure that any water hoses are detached from your outside faucets and they’re turned off completely. If you spot leaks, call a plumber and have them fixed before the first freeze. If your pipes are prone to freezing, you can also wrap them in an insulating material to help prevent this.
- Have your furnace checked-out by a professional HVAC company. This is usually not very expensive but could save you a lot of money and discomfort in the future. Also, be sure to switch out your furnace filters. How often you do this depends on the type of filter you have. Mine have to be replaced every three months but there are others that need switching more or less frequently. Your heating system will work far more efficiently with clean filters and you’ll see less dust in your home, too.
- There’s nothing more cozy than a warm, crackling fireplace when the weather turns cool. However, if you burn wood, you need to have your flute and chimney checked and swept by a professional before the season starts. Alternately, you could opt for gas logs which, depending on the type you use, don’t cause the same build-up as wood.
- Consider adding a humidifier to your space. Winter air is naturally dry but when you compound that with the dry heat in your home, you’re looking at static city. A good humidifier adds much needed moisture to the air and helps prevent clingy clothes, spiky hair and “love shocks”.
- Check concrete walkways, porches and stoops for cracks. Small cracks can turn into expensive breaks if water seeps in, freezes and expands. You can seal small cracks fairly easily with pre-mixed concrete crack filler. You can find this at most home improvement stores. It’s an inexpensive, quick way to avoid major winter weather problems in the future.
- To ensure your home is protected from bottom to top, be sure to check out your roof for any loose or missing shingles, damage around peaks and valleys, around chimneys, or around roof-mounted satellite dishes or vents. If you spot problems, have them repaired before the winter winds begin to howl and your home will stay warm and cozy all winter.
- A couple of final things to remember: Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check your fire extinguishers. If you don’t have fire extinguishers, you should seriously consider adding them to your home. Hopefully, you’ll never need them but if you do, they’re invaluable.
Need a Little Help?
If the idea of DIY is not appealing or if you simply don’t have the time to tackle this winter home maintenance checklist yourself, you can always find contractors by asking friends and family or by going online and using a service like AngiesList.com.
They’ll show you certified, insured contractors in your area that handle everything from roofing to plumbing to concrete work. Plus, they offer reviews from customers so you can be more confident in your choice.
This may seem like a long list, but most of the items don’t take very long to do. If you consider the time, cost, and inconvenience of not properly maintaining and winterizing your home, this list seems as easy as pumpkin pie!
Are there things on your winter home maintenance checklist you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them.