Checklist: Fall Preventative Home Maintenance

Before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare for the winter  months to prevent costly damage. Below are the fall preventative home  maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.

Gutters and Downspouts

Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of  leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and  pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters
Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets  are securely in place.  Ensure that  water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations,  driveways, and walkways.

Windows and Doors

Change  summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.   Inspect  and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.   Install  weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to  lower heating bills.

Heating Systems

Replace  the filter in your furnace.   Consider  having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal  performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major  repairs. Clean your ducts to better your  heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide  relief to those with respiratory problems.

Plumbing

To prevent pipes  freezing and bursting, ensure that the pipes are well insulated.   Know  how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze.

Chimney and Fireplace

Call  a professional in to inspect and clean your chimney.  Fireplaces that are  regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent  dangerous chimney fires.  Test your  fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.

Attic ventilation

Be sure  attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on  the roof.   Be sure ridge vents and vents  at eaves are free of plants and debris.   Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to  prevent any unwanted guests.

Landscape and Yardwork

Although grass appears to stop growing in the  fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the  best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.   Prune  your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth.   Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close  to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in  the winter.

from HomeAdvisor formerly ServiceMagic Newsletter

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