It’s October, which means leaves are starting to fall and temperatures are dropping. In order to prepare for fall and winter, there are several things you should keep in mind and look out for around your home. This fall home maintenance checklist is simple and can help prevent more expensive damages as the seasons change and winter approaches.
1. Gutters and Downspouts
When leaves start changing colors and falling from their branches, they tend to find a way into your home’s gutters. This causes both gutters and downspouts to clog, which can cause your gutters to overflow, leaving the area under the clog vulnerable to flooding. To avoid flooding your yard and damage to your gutters make sure to clean them out and remove all debris. You can check out how to clean your gutters properly here, or watch this short video.
2. Attic Insulation
Before it gets too cold outside, it is smart to check your attic’s insulation, ventilation and screening. When completing your fall home maintenance checklist, ensure that the insulation in your attic is not only installed properly, but that it does not cover or hide vents in the eaves. Improper installation of the insulation in your attic can cause moisture to build up and leak into your living spaces. This is caused by insulation that is upside down. Check to make sure that the vapor barrier faces down towards your living spaces. If it faces upwards, you can cut slits in the paper to prevent moisture from building up.
While you inspect your insulation, make sure that your vents are clean and free of debris to ensure proper ventilation through your attic. Lastly, if you have screening around your attic to prevent unwanted guests from entering your home, make sure there are no holes or tears in your screens.
With winter closing in, it is a great time to check your water lines and pipes. Make sure they are insulated to prevent them from freezing. You will also want to locate your water shut-off valve. This way you know you can turn off your home’s water if your pipes do freeze.
You will also want to remember to drain your outdoor faucets. This means walking around your home and disconnecting garden houses from spigots. This also may seem obvious, and most of you may have already done so, but don’t forget to turn your sprinklers off.
4. Windows and Doors
No one likes a draft, especially one that keeps you cold and causes you to use more energy and electricity to keep your home comfortable. If you are experiencing drafty windows or doors, a quick fix is to purchase weather stripping to line your windows and doors. This will help you keep out drafts, unwanted critters, and weather from entering your home, while also providing some added soundproofing to your home.
If weather strips do not seem to be getting the job done, or if you have an older home and want to completely replace your homes doors or windows, call a professional to get a quote and learn about how much money you will save over time with new, energy-efficient windows and doors.
Have a professional inspect your roof to check for worn down shingles annually. Any shingles that are curling, cracking, or caving in should be replaced. The last thing you want once the weather cools off is to discover a hole or a leak in your roof, especially since preventative maintenance can save you money and stop the leak from happening all together.
Complete Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Check off your fall home maintenance to-do list now, before cold weather arrives. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to keep your family comfortable and save energy throughout the fall and into winter. If it’s time for a home improvement, contact our team of certified professionals for a free in-home estimate.