As summer comes to a close, many homeowners are looking forward to getting their homes ready for the changing fall weather and the winter to come. Having and following a fall home maintenance checklist can help keep your home and property in tip-top shape. Not to mention, having your home inspected and small repairs done while the weather is still cooperative can prevent major damage and expensive repairs down the road.
If it’s been a while since you’ve gone through a fall home maintenance checklist, now may be the time. Here are just a few items to look for during your routine and regular maintenance.
An inspection of your home’s exterior can reveal some important weak points that may need to be addressed. From your roof to the foundations, we recommend a thorough inspection from the top down. Here are a few exterior components to inspect to look for potential problem spots on your home.
Roofing and shingles are one of the most important features that protect your home. Any loose or missing shingles can lead to leaks that are hard to fix during the winter. Damage to a roof almost guarantees that damage will occur to the rest of your home. Have a licensed and certified roofing professional inspect the condition of your roof and ensure that repairs that are in line with standards and warranty instructions are followed.
Once all the beautiful autumn leaves have fallen, cleaning gutters and downspouts is an important project to complete. Flushing these with water after removing debris can prevent ice from accumulating and the gutters themselves from needing repairs.
Siding and paint on your exterior are great barriers to protect your home. Inspecting for paint that has peeled, blistered, or cracked reveals signs that your paint is no longer protecting your home. Seeing these signs means it is time to reinforce the underlying material and/or the protective layer. This is the primer and paint used to seal in your home or building’s exterior materials; wood, stucco, siding, and other types.
Your foundation is quite literally what holds your home in place. Checking the foundation for cracks and caulking and sealing areas where there are any openings can be one of the least expensive, yet most important maintenance jobs. If there are openings in the foundation, water can get in and when it gets cold enough, the water can freeze and cause mold or cracks to take hold.
Doors and windows are other areas where water can seep in. Caulking and sealing any openings will not only keep water out but can also help keep heat in. It’s estimated that homeowners can save up to 20% on heating/cooling costs simply by ensuring proper sealing and insulation.
Inspect your driveways and sidewalks for cracks that may have developed. Any cracks left untreated will continue to grow due to water freezing and expanding. Cleaning out, repairing, and sealing these cracks will prevent uneven ground and the need to resurface or completely re-pour the affected areas in the future.
Winterizing outdoor water lines seems like a common-sense practice but forgetting this task can cause problems for your home. We recommend getting a few good lawn watering sessions in this fall before shutting down your system for the winter.
Your porch and deck will also require attention and possibly need some maintenance done. Check the railings, stairs, and supports to ensure they are secure and won’t become a hazard when snow and ice are present. And don’t forget to make sure your outdoor furniture has been covered or stored away so it lasts longer.
Once the exterior maintenance and repairs are complete, you can turn your attention to interior features that may require maintenance. Do a walkthrough of each room in your home and look for these things as you prepare for the winter.
Ceiling fans may be an overlooked maintenance item, but changing the direction of your fans for the winter can help circulate heat down to the rest of your home reducing your home’s energy needs and heating costs.
And while you’ve got a ladder out, changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors could save your life. If carbon monoxide detectors get too cold, they may malfunction and should get replaced.
A clean chimney at the beginning of fall can lend to many cozy nights around the hearth. Having your chimney swept every 50-70 burns is ideal to minimize build-up within the chimney and reduce soot. During a cleaning, be sure to inspect for cracks, obstructions, and signs of water damage.
If your furnace needs some TLC, the easiest way to make sure it works all winter long is simple. Changing your furnace air filter is one of the easiest ways to make your furnace happy and healthy. Ideally, you should change your filter every 3 months.
Knowing what to look for and how to make home repairs is a lot of work in itself. This is why we made a fall home maintenance checklist for you to hopefully take some of the pressure off your shoulders. Having a professional contractor inspect your home and make repairs for you will make the process easier and give you peace of mind knowing that there is a guarantee behind the work being done.
At Flying Colors Painting, our team of experienced Olympia & Tacoma painters, plumbers, roofers, and landscapers have a keen eye for finding any problem areas that may need repairs before the final coat of paint goes on. And we back our work with a satisfaction guarantee. To request an estimate and get all your maintenance and repair work done before the cold and snowy months, contact us for your complete home inspection and assessment.