Once you become a homeowner, you have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the home you purchased. With each season comes a new list of tasks you should strongly consider doing for the home you purchased to maintain it and preserve its life. Below are the fall home maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.
Gutters and Downspouts
• Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations. Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
Windows and Doors
• Change and summer screens to cool/cold weather storm windows and doors. Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames and install weather stripping or caulking to prevent drafts and lower heating bill costs.
Heating and Cooling Systems
• Replace the filter in your furnace. You may want to consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and identify any minor problems before they turn into costly repairs. Also consider cleaning your ducts to insure your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust. If your home has window air conditioners remove them and store them, if you must keep the window air conditioner in the window cover it to prevent drafts and heat loss. Air conditioning systems should be cleaned and checked for damage. Also caulking of the system into the home. Replace all dry and deteriorating caulking.
• To prevent your homes pipes from freezing and bursting check all pipes to make sure that they are well insulated. Be sure you also know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valves in case pipes do freeze. Shut off exterior water faucets and remove and store all garden hoses. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before freezing temperatures occur. Also, be sure to properly turn off all underground water systems and drain properly.
• Walk around the exterior of your home and look for signs of damage to the roof, siding, and foundation. Schedule repair for anything that needs it before winter sets in. Seal gaps where mice or any other “critters” can make entrance to your home.
Chimney and Fireplace
• Contact a professional to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires. And be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one — it will stop unwanted surprises from crawling down your chimney!
• 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
• Now is the time that grass roots grow deeper to prepare for winter. It is also the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn. Rake up leaves which can inhibit spring growth of your lawn. Prune trees and shrubs. Have all tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house trimmed to prevent damage which can occur from ice and heavy snow storms.
Check Safety Devices
• Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date of your fire extinguishers and replace any that require it. If you haven’t checked your home for radon, fall is a good time to do so. As the weather gets cooler, windows stay shut more often and radon is more likely to become trapped in your home.
Clean Dryer Vents
• Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire — cool, dry fall weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has built up, so now is a key time to get that lint out. You can hire a duct cleaning specialist to clean the vents for you, or clean the vent yourself.
At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we combine knowledge, experience and science to provide you with the highest level of inspection service. Corspect Advanced Home Inspections uses the latest technology to assess every detail of the homes systems. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we also have the unique ability, through Drone equipped HD Cameras, to inspect and photograph roof components. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections it is our mission to make the home buying experience rewarding, informative and enjoyable for all. Contact Bob at Corspect Advanced Home Inspections to set up your home inspection.