Fall Home Maintenance

Leaves-in-Gutters1Finally, it’s starting to feel like Fall. The holidays are beginning to be top of mind as we set shopping budgets and plan for holiday get-togethers. In the busyness of the holidays, it’s easy to neglect the important home maintenance tasks that your home needs before the cold weather really sets in. Why not make a personal goal to take care of these tasks before things get really crazy?

  1. Fireplace. If you have a traditional fireplace or a sealed gas fireplace, there are inspections that need to take place before you begin using it regularly throughout the winter. Inspect the chimney or venting system, as well as the firebox. For gas fireplaces, inspect the flame and rod. In traditional fireplaces, make sure your flue closes tightly.
  2. HVAC System. Have your furnace or heat pump professionally serviced. Just like your car needs a tune-up, so does your heater. A well-maintained heater will run more efficiently and use less energy. Clean ducts and air filters will also help your system work more efficiently, and reduce the allergens in your home.
  3. Weatherstripping. As we discussed in last month’s newsletter, now is the time to inspect and repair any detached or deteriorating weatherstripping. Keep the warm air in and the cold air out!
  4. Gutters & Downspouts. Once the leaves are finished falling, inspect your gutters to make sure they haven’t become clogged with leaves and other debris. Ensure that water can properly drain through your gutters and downspouts. Water shouldn’t spill over the edge of the gutters during rain (or behind them), it should flow easily into the downspouts. Make sure the bottom of your downspouts are directing water away from your home.
  5. Protect Pipes. If you live in a region with prolonged freezing, make sure that all exposed piping is properly insulated.
  6. Trim Trees. Trim any trees that may impact your home during winter storms.
  7. Irrigation. Reset your irrigation timers in preparation for the rainy season. If you live in a region prone to freezing, you’ll want to shut down and drain your system for the winter.

Proper home maintenance is what keeps your home working as it should all winter long. If you’ve fallen behind on your maintenance, don’t despair! Start with this list, and then refer to the Home Maintenance Summary in your Homeowner Maintenance Guide for an organized list of your home’s maintenance needs.

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