Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Summer is winding down, and Autumn is just around the corner. That means it's time to start thinking about how to prepare your home for winter. It's easy to miss something important in all the hustle and bustle of fall and winter holiday preparation, so it's a good idea to put together a fall home maintenance checklist. You can also reference the list of recommendations we’ve provided below. When you own a home or other private property, the task of keeping it in good condition falls on your shoulders. Routine maintenance and cleaning is necessary to prevent small issues from becoming major problems. Here are a few tips and things to consider including on your fall maintenance checklist.
Gutters and Downspouts
The first things you should check are your gutters and downspouts. People take for granted how well their gutters and downspouts work until the day they stop working and overflow. The main reason this happens is a clog, and the most common culprit is dead leaves that have accumulated throughout the year.
Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to surprising amounts of water damage— both on the interior and exterior of your home. The gallons of water they drain throughout the year are no threat to your home when it flows correctly through the downspout. However, in the event of a blockage, water can be funneled directly to your foundation.
Try to clean all of the leaves and debris out of your gutters as frequently as needed to prevent buildup. This can be done using something as simple as an old plastic spatula. They won’t scrape up the gutters or cause any damage, but they can scoop out the gunk nicely.
Check the Seals
Once fall arrives, winter isn't far behind. Along with winter comes icy winds and frigid weather. If your windows and door frames aren’t sealed correctly, it won’t just be the outdoors that experience freezing winds. Before the winter months arrive, check for drafts and fix any issues whenever they arise.
Energy bills start to rise when the temperature drops outside, and that’s mostly because of the heating system. If your windows and doors aren’t well-sealed, those bills go up even more. When you heat your home, that heat can escape through even the smallest cracks or openings, making your heating system much less efficient. Fixing your door and window seals is a small task that can pay off with non-drafty rooms.
Prepare your Plumbing
Winter weather can also be hard on your plumbing, which is why it’s important to prevent frozen pipes. When turning off outdoor faucets and water fixtures, many people forget to drain them first.
The outdoor plumbing is connected to the indoor plumbing so if that freezes over, it can affect the indoor pipes too. Disconnect your garden hoses and shut off and drain all your spigots to avoid cracking and splitting. A hard freeze can lead to burst pipes, which can lead to severe water damage.
Inspect Your Roof
Snow can accumulate on your roof throughout winter. Ice dams can help keep water from destroying your roof throughout the winter. Any leaks in your roofing materials can allow water to work its way between the layers of your roof and make things worse by expanding as the temperature drops. Even a small amount of water can do damage as it freezes and thaws.
Roof leaks and other roof damage is a lot harder and more dangerous to fix when there’s snow and ice involved, so it’s important to take care of it prior to winter weather. Warning signs to look out for include buckled, loose, or missing shingles; or spots of rust if you have a metal roof. If you notice any of these, call in an expert to fix it immediately. The longer it's left untreated, the worse it’s likely to get.
If you have a wood stove or fireplace, consider having a chimney sweeping. Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have fresh batteries. Keeping your snowblower (if you have one) in good shape will make sure it's ready when the snow goes beyond flurries.
For a more extensive list of things to do before winter rolls around, check out our other article on the topic. If you do find issues in your home that need to be dealt with by professionals, we recommend calling in a team of experts like the ones at AdvantaClean. AdvantaClean has been in the water, mold, and fire damage restoration business for years. Schedule a free consultation to get started. We're available any time day or night for emergencies.