Ten Fall Maintenance Tips that will help you keep your home in tip top shape over the winter months.
1- Check your gutters, downspouts and roof. It is hard to tell if your roof has damage because it is so far above your normal view, but you should check it to see if you have any shingles missing, bulging spots or damage to your roof that needs to be repaired. Check that your downspouts and gutters are clear from debris such as leaves and sticks. For those of us with kids that seem to “accidentally” throw their toys on the roof, make sure there are not any toys or balls in the gutter that could stop rain water from draining properly.
2 – Check over the yard and outside of your home. Check the outside of your home for any damage to the exterior (stucco, siding, wood, etc…) As the weather gets colder, unhook the outside hoses and put them away for the winter. Check your sidewalks and patios for any cracks or repairs that may need to be made.
3 – Check Your Air Filters. This is a great time to change the filters in your air conditioner and furnace units. Cover your outside air conditioner unit to prevent damage. Remove window units and seal any windows that have air leaks. You may want to also clean the vents in your dryer as well.
4 – Repair Any Leaking Faucets. Check your kitchen bathroom and laundry faucets for any drips. The money saved by this minor repair far outweighs the money going down the drain!
5 – Check Your Fireplace. Clean out the ashes that may still be in the fireplace. Have a professional clean the chimney to rid it of built up soot and carcinogens that could be dangerous once you begin using it during the cold months. Chimney fires can be easily avoided with regular cleanings and maintenance.
6 – Drain your Hot Water Heater. If your water tends to be hard or has alot of minerals, your tank could be building up with sediments. Make sure rust is not developing in your tank. If your hot water heater is older, you may want to consider a newer more efficient one.
7 – Check Your Windows and Doors. You will want to check for drafts, damage to the window frames or door frames. Seal or caulk the windows to ensure cold air from coming in. You may want to use window plastic for older windows that are drafty.
8 – Clean, Cover and Store Outdoor Furniture. Consider power washing or using Oxy Clean on your outdoor patio furniture before putting them away for the winter. Remove any cushions, umbrellas and other fabric covered items and store those items inside your garage through the colder months to prevent damage to the material.
9 – Sharpen and Service All Power Tools. Have your garden tools sharpened now and ready for spring. Service your lawn mower, weed trimmer and other outside tools that will sit over the winter months..
10 – Fertilize Your Lawn and Winterize Sprinkler System. Apply fertilizer before the weather is too cold. Once you have finished, you will want to prepare your sprinkler system for winter, which could include blowing out the lines, replacing sprinkler heads or repairing broken lines. You will want to have your system working in the spring.
Now that you have your home ready for winter, sit back and enjoy those cooler nights, knowing your are ready for what Mother Nature has ahead.