Even though Summer is not quite over yet, it’s a good time to do some seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly & safely through the fall and winter months. Check out the tips below to see what you can do to better prepare your home for the colder seasons!
Interior Maintenance Checklist
Check for drafts: Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.
Have your furnace inspected: Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra air filters and change them every few months. Clogged filters make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and can seriously increase your utility bills.
Winterize air conditioning: If your home has central air conditioning, it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover to prevent air leaks.
Clean humidifiers: Replace old filters and clean the inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well.
Chimney & Fireplace: If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional. Be sure to look for blockages, exercise the damper and check the chimney for damages.
Test home safety devices: Replace the batteries in all of your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices. Then, test them to make sure they’re working properly.
Exterior Maintenance Checklist
Roofing: You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.
Siding: Check the home exterior for cracks or holes. Repair them yourself or hire a professional.
Gutters: Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.
Water Drainage Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
Paint Window Trim, Barge Rafters, Soffits: These areas can be prone to rot from so much rain exposure. To preserve the life span paint these features and/or replace them with fiber-cement based products.
Power wash walking surfaces: Clean all of the major walkways around your house with a power washer. This will keep them less slippery in the wet and freezing months.
Faucets & Hoses: Drain garden hoses and disconnect them from the outside spigots. Shut off the exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze.
Inspect trees: Check for damaged limbs that may break or that are too close to power lines or the roof.
Bring in flowerpots: If you keep plants or flowers in pots year-round, bring them inside. If you replace plants every year, empty, clean, dry pots and put them away for next spring.
Plant bulbs:If you plant bulbs for spring, now’s the time to get them in the ground ground.
Leaf removal: Rake and remove leaves from the yard. Put into a compost pile if you have one. Alternatively, put into yard garbage bags and leave at the curb for community pick up. Check with your local city or town for requirements and pick up schedules.
Fertilize lawn: Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it. If you have a lawn service, they should do this for you.
Put away seasonal furniture: Clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture. Remove and clean cushions. Wash and dry furniture and store in a dry place over winter.
In the Garage
Test the generator: If you have an emergency generator for power outages, give it a test, and make sure it’s in good working order.
Buy extra gasoline: Purchase extra gas to have on hand for use in your snow blower or generator, so you’re prepared for emergencies. Make sure you store gasoline in tanks away from fire sources and out of children’s reaches.
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