Just like routine checkups with your doctor or dentist, having a regular maintenance schedule for your home is vitally important for the health and longevity of your home. Routinely evaluating the state of your home’s exterior, heating and cooling system, plumbing, appliances, electrical system, foundation, roof, and windows and doors will help to keep your home looking great, prevent problems, and save you money in the long run.
We’ve compiled a list of routine home maintenance tasks which will help you to schedule seasonal cleaning, repairs, and updates, as well as tasks that should be completed every month. It is important to revisit this list regularly, as well as at the change of seasons to ensure your home is in the best condition possible. If you discover that any of the repairs or maintenance tasks are beyond your skill or comfort level, consider hiring a professional to help with those.
The fall can be an ideal time to tackle some routine home maintenance tasks because the weather is typically quite dry and the temperatures are usually moderate. Read on to discover our seasonal home improvement tasks for the fall:
Have your Furnace and Heating System Inspected – Before the cold weather sets in, have your forced-air heating system and furnace inspected by a professional. It is best to schedule an inspection in the fall before the heating season begins.
Check Any Fireplaces for Signs of Damage or Hazards – Examine any fireplaces for signs of damage or hazards and consider having a professional inspect and clean the chimney and fireplace flue before using it for the season.
Clean your Windows and Screens – It is a great idea to clean the exterior of your windows and screens before the winter arrives.
Seal Any Cracks or Gaps in the Doors or Windows – The fall is the time to seal any cracks and gaps in windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. This will help to prevent cold drafts and high heating bills in the winter months.
Consider Replacing Older Windows – You may need to consider swapping out old, drafty windows for newer and more energy-efficient options.
Power Wash, Repair, and Touch Up Siding and Exterior with Paint – Fall offers a great time to clean up the exterior of your home. Take some time to power wash the brick or siding of the exterior of your home, watching for signs of damage. Repair any damage and touch up with paint as needed.
Inspect Your Roof – You don’t want to wait for the cold and wet months to find out your roof is damaged or leaking. Inspect all roofing for any missing, loose, or damaged shingles and potential leaks.
Clean out Your Gutters and Downspouts – Fall means lots of leaves on the ground, and in your gutters. Leaves can clog up your gutters which can result in overflowing gutters and downspouts which in turn can damage your home and the foundation.
Replace Batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – It is important to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month. Batteries should be replaced every 3-4 months. It is essential to ensure that you install a smoke detector on every floor of the home, including the basement.
Inspect your Water Heater – Visually inspect your water heater for any signs of rust or damage. Consider having it inspected by a professional at least once per year.
Drain and Store / Insulate Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures – Fall is the ideal time to drain and store outdoor hoses, as well as drain your in-ground sprinkler system. This is also the perfect time to wrap insulation around any outdoor faucets and/or pipes in unheated garages.
Clean and Tune Up Major Appliances Before the Holidays – You don’t want to wait until it’s time to put in the Christmas turkey to discover that your oven needs to be serviced! Fall is a great time to clean your major appliances and ensure they are in perfect working order.
Have your Dryer and Heating Ducts Cleaned Out – This is a very important task, as neglected dryer vents can be a major fire hazard. You also want to make sure all your heating vents are clean and clear of any dust, pet hair, and other debris.
Check for Any Frayed or Damaged Wires and Cords – Do a visual inspection of all wires and cords in your home, looking carefully for signs of damage, and any wires that may be frayed or need to be replaced.
When in Doubt – Call a Home Inspector!
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of tackling the tasks listed above, or simply want to leave those jobs to a professional, your best option is to hire an experienced home inspector. A home inspector will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your home and will pay special attention to any areas that may pose a health or safety concern or need to be replaced. A qualified and knowledgeable home inspector knows exactly what to look for when inspecting a home, and will likely catch things that the regular homeowner might miss. Hiring a home inspector can save you a mountain of stress, time, and money in the long run. Contact us at Building Insights today to schedule a home inspection. We will go above and beyond to ensure your home is completely ready and safe for the cold winter months ahead.