To avoid costly surprises, routine home maintenance is a major key. Fall is a great time to address the little things that can make a huge difference for your home. Most if not all these tips can be handled easily by most homeowners, but if you choose to hire a professional, it will be worth the expense. Here are 6 fall home maintenance tips to help you keep your home in tip-top shape.
1. Fertilize Your Lawn
Preparing your yard for fall and winter is important. Even though growth is not as rapid, roots are still active during the fall. Fertilizing your lawn can prevent winter damage and help your lawn become green and full faster when springtime arrives. Continuing to water your lawn in the fall is important and this helps your lawn recover from the stress of summer and gain strength for the upcoming winter season.
2. Check and Test Smoke Detectors
Batteries in smoke detectors need to be replaced twice a year. If you hear chirping noises coming from your smoke detector, that’s an indication that batteries need replacing. The smoke detector’s date of manufacture should also be checked. Many people may not realize that the manufacture date can be checked by removing the detector and looking on the back of the device for a sticker that contains the date. Smoke detector’s that are older than 9 years need to be replaced.
3. Replace Your HVAC Filters
HVAC filters should be replaced every three months or according to manufactures instructions. It would be a good idea to look at the filters monthly to make sure they don’t need to be changed sooner. Fall is the perfect time to check your filters and have them replaced if needed. A clean air filter is key to ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently. It will also keep the air quality in your home healthy for you and your family.
4. Inspect Drainage System
We love the look of leaves accumulating on the ground around our home in the fall. What you may not have thought about are the leaves that have accumulated in your gutters. Leaves and debris in the gutters can stop them from properly diverting water away from your home causing them to overflow leading to issues like foundation damage, structural issues, mold and mildew and basement flooding. Keep your gutters clear in the fall so that water will drain properly. Inspect your downspouts for any obstructions that can interfere with water drainage.
5. Inspect Your Fireplace
Inspecting a fireplace can get messy. Come prepared wearing old clothes, a dusk mask or respirator and safety glasses. You will want to test the damper to make sure its functioning properly. Shine a flashlight up the flue to check if it’s free of debris or other obstructions. Look at the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. A fireplace and chimney should be cleaned and checked annually. If your chimney has not been cleaned in over a year it would be a good idea to have a professional come out and do a cleaning.
6. Seal Openings
Look around your home’s exterior for openings between the siding and trim, around windows and doors, and where pipes and wires enter the home. Insert weather stripping or caulking at any openings to prevent drafts, moisture intrusion and wasted energy.