Fall home maintenance should be on every proactive homeowner’s to-do list. Making sure a home and its landscaping are ready for the cold weather of winter can stave off headaches down the road. The following checklist makes keeping track of fall maintenance a cinch.
Indoor Fall maintenance
- Seal doors and windows using weather stripping. This prevents cold drafts from coming in and warm air from escaping. Sealed doors and windows can also reduce your heating bill significantly.
- Service the fireplace if the home has one. Having fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and serviced helps to ensure the fireplace is safe before building a fire. This can prevent several types of home disasters.
- Service your heating system. Routine servicing of heating and cooling systems helps extend the life of an air conditioner while identifying potential problems.
- Change air filters. This should be done about once a month, especially during fall and winter months when most people spend more time indoors.
- Check attic insulation. In addition to reducing energy costs, proper insulation keeps a home warmer during cold months.
- Check pipe insulation. Properly insulation can keep pipes from freezing and bursting.
- Get a hot water heater blanket. These can reduce energy costs and also help keep water from freezing during cold months. They are inexpensive to buy and easy to wrap around the hot water heater. Most home improvement stores sell them.
Outdoor Fall Maintenance
- Trim tree branches. In some regions, fall weather can bring stormy weather. Remove any tree branches that are at risk of falling onto the home from ice or heavy winds.
- Transplant trees. Fall is an excellent time to move small trees while they are dormant. This can also be done during spring, but in fall, very little watering is required.
- Mulch trees and other plants. Mulch helps keep the roots of plants from freezing and provides a layer of protection to keep plants healthy over winter. Not all plants benefit from mulch so ask your landscaper which plants need to be mulched.
- Rake leaves. Leaves that sit on top of grass over winter prevent sunlight from reaching the grass. It can also lead to mold problems. Use your raked leaves for compost in your garden or other areas of landscaping.
- Spray for pests. Lots of pests are looking for a warm place to go during the cooler months, and they often choose the fall season to begin creeping indoors.
- Clean gutters. When raking, also clear out any leaves and debris from gutters around the entire house. This will help prevent a backup when it rains and will ensure water is channeled properly away from your home.
Proper fall home maintenance means being ready for falling temperatures before winter arrives to help keep a home at its best. Check off each task and rest easy knowing that you are taking excellent care of your family’s most valuable investment.
Share these great tips with your clients and be sure to also check out our new DIY Series, which offers homeowners every day helpful DIY tips. Through 10/31/14 use promo code Treat5 to get 5% off your order!