As if getting ready for the holidays weren’t enough, fall brings with it a multitude of tasks around the house. We hate to add to your list, but home maintenance is especially important in fall, because winter’s around the corner.
When the weather turns cold and nasty, you don’t want to get caught with difficult and expensive repairs. To help you, here’s a handy fall home maintenance checklist.
Admit it. You take your insulation for granted. You assume it’s just up there in your attic, doing its job.
But if your house is 10-20 years old or more, it might be time to take a look and see if more should be added. It can drastically reduce your heating bills.
The number-one area where cold air leaks into your house is around your windows and doors. Over time, the weather stripping gets worn out and doesn’t make contact with your windows and doors to form a tight seal.
On a cold, windy day, feel for drafts around your windows and doors. If you feel cold air, you can get sealing kits at your local hardware store as a temporary fix. But it might be time to get them replaced.
Siding is another oft-neglected component of your home. You just assume it’s working.
But every ten years or so it needs to be painted and caulked (depending on the siding material). Take a walk around your house and look for chips and cracks in the paint, and to see if the caulking between planks is still intact.
This is really a year-round, ongoing thing. Always be on the lookout for signs of leaks in your home. They will show themselves in the form of rust-colored stains on your ceilings and walls.
They could be from leaking plumbing, or from leaking roofs. Either way, when you see one you should contact a professional to inspect it for you.
When it’s cold outside and warm inside, you might see water droplets forming on your windows. This is not normal.
It’s a sign that your windows are not doing the job they were intended for. Many windows contain a gas between the panes that helps insulate them from the outside air. But that gas can deteriorate over time, or leak out if a seal is broken.
If you see window condensation, contact a window professional to go over your options.
It might be the least fun job there is around the house, but keeping your gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and debris is important. Clogged gutters can lead to problems with your foundation as well as water damage on your eaves, siding and windows.
Fall, of course, is prime gutter-clogging time. So be diligent about keeping them clear.
The last thing you want is for your furnace to die on you in the middle of the winter. On a weekend. When it’s twice as expensive to have someone fix it.
Before that happens, schedule a technician to come out and perform a routine tune-up. This will help your furnace keep you warm all winter long.
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