Maintaining your home is an important part of being a home owner, especially during the colder months. Here are some good tips to remember when preparing your home for fall:
- Check the foundation for cracks; caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around windows and door frames.
- Install storm windows and doors and remove screens. Clean and repair screens, spray with a protective coating and store in a dry area.
- Inspect any exterior walls for peeling or blistering paint
- Have a licensed, certified roofing professional check the condition of your roof.
- After the leaves have fallen, clear out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints and tighten brackets. Point downspouts away from foundation.
- Weather-strip your garage door, making a tight seal between your garage door and the ground.
- Check for proper sealing and insulation on all windows and doors. Apply weather-stripping and caulk where it is needed.
- Have a licensed heating contractor check your heating system, including ducts and furnaces.
- Examine your fireplace insert’s door for a tight seal. Clean and inspect the glass door for cracks. Have a licensed chimney sweep clean the chimney.
- Check that the attic is insulated, ventilated, and critter-free.
- Test and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep extra batteries on hand.
- Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners. Remove units from windows or wrap outside boxes with an approved tarp or plastic air conditioner cover.
- Clean humidifiers regularly during the heating season to avoid bacteria growth.
Yard and Garden Maintenance
- Clean and store summer garden tools.
- Rake the lawn, reseed patchy areas, and plant spring flowering bulbs. If needed, deer proof your yard by covering plants with netting and chicken wire.
- Trim any tree limbs that may interfere with power lines or break under the weight of snow and ice.
- Drain the fuel from all gas-operated yard equipment such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and chain saws.
- Store your snow-clearing gear – snow blowers, shovels, etc. – so that they are accessible when you need them.
- Drain garden hoses and store them inside. Shut off outdoor water valves, irrigation, and sprinkler systems.
- Inspect and fill bird feeders. Remember, once you start feeding birds, you should continue to do so through the winter.
- Fertilize the lawn with a high phosphorous mix to ensure healthy grass in the spring.
Porch and Deck Maintenance
- Check the supports, stairs, and railings on porches and decks. Make sure the handrails can support someone slipping on snow or ice.
- Clean outside furniture and barbeques, check for any needed repairs, then cover and store in a protected area.
- Empty all of the soil from pots and planters.