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Getting Ready for Fall: 10 Home Maintenance Tips to Follow

Getting Ready for Fall: 10 Home Maintenance Tips to Follow

Perhaps the biggest advantage of buying a new home build is the feeling of security that comes from knowing things aren’t likely to break down and will be covered by the warranty if they do. This can lead some new homeowners to be a bit slack when it comes to normal home maintenance. This is a mistake. Your home will only stay in good shape if you take the necessary steps to maintain its condition. Additionally, neglecting regular maintenance could void certain aspects of your warranty.

While you might not need to worry about replacing the roof or overloading the electrical system in a new home, you should still do the following things to keep your home in great condition.

Clean Out the Gutters

Getting Ready for Fall: 10 Home Maintenance Tips to Follow Gutter imageDuring the Fall, leaves fall into the gutters, and the build-up can cause blockages. Sometimes, these blockages cause rainwater to pool and seep into the wood. In the winter, though, ice dams form when the melting snow from the roof cannot drain properly and reforms as ice in the gutters.

In addition to the water damage to the roof that this could cause, an ice dam could become heavy enough to pull the gutters off the home. By cleaning debris from the gutters, you ensure a smooth passage for water.

Sweep Those Chimneys

There’s nothing quite like sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter’s night, but if you don’t get the chimney cleaned in the fall, there’s a chance that it could start a fire. The Canada Safety Council recommends cleaning your chimney once a year. A professional chimney sweep can inspect and clean your chimney. Make this a part of your annual fall maintenance.

Prepare the Lawn

Surprisingly, a great lawn starts by preparation in the fall. Aerate your lawn by poking small holes in it to allow oxygen and nutrition to seep deeper into the ground. You can do this with special shoes or tools. Once you’ve finished this task, spread out some lawn fertilizer and grass seed. If you don’t want to do this on your own, lawn maintenance companies typically offer a fall maintenance plan you can purchase even if you normally maintain your lawn yourself.

Change the Direction of Fans

You know that fans can keep you cool in the summer months, but they can also keep your home warmer in winter. When they rotate in a counterclockwise direction, they push the cool air down into the room. In the winter, you want fans to run in a clockwise direction, which will push the warm air at the ceiling out toward the walls, circulating it back into the room. Take a few seconds to flip the switch on your fans and save on heating costs in the winter.

Check for Pests and Possible Entryways

You’re not the only one spending more time inside as the weather gets cooler. Birds, rodents, and other small animals start looking for warm places to spend the winter. Your home looks very attractive to them. Check your attic for signs of animals, such as droppings, feathers, and fur. Search your home for possible points of entry and block those when possible. For instance, you could put a screen behind vents in the attic or cut tree branches that are close to the roof. If an animal problem persists, consider hiring a professional to take care of it.

Tune Up Your Heat

Getting Ready for Fall: 10 Home Maintenance Tips to Follow Furnace Filter imageYour furnace should go through an annual filter change and tune up to ensure the system is working properly. It doesn’t cost much to have a professional do this, and you won’t have to worry about the possibility of the system breaking down in the middle of winter. Tune-ups are also a smart move if you have other types of heat throughout the home, such as gas-powered fireplaces.

Drain the Lawn Mower

If stale gas sits in your lawn mower over the winter, it can prevent the machine from starting in the spring. When you’re done mowing for the year, allow the mower to run until it’s out of gas. Alternatively, siphon the gas into a container and transfer it to a snow blower. The mower’s manufacturer might recommend an additive for winter storage. Follow the directions in the manual.

Test for Air Leaks

Heating bills go up when cold air seeps into your home. On a cool night, check the areas around windows and doors for coldness or a small breeze. Even though the builder undoubtedly used weatherstripping techniques when they built your home, these can crack and wear down over time. It may be time to replace some of the parts.

Clean Gardening Tools

It’s easy to forget about your gardening tools once your plants start to die off. However, tools that sit through the winter with caked-on mud can start rusting or become damaged. If you’re ready to put the tools away until next year, take some time to clean them off, then store them properly.

Turn off the Outdoor Water Pipes

Since water expands when it freezes, it’s not good to keep water in the outside pipes and hoses. You’ll want to drain and remove your hoses, then store them in the garage or attic until springtime. Then, turn off the water to the outside water spigots.

Fall maintenance doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it’s essential for the well-being of your home. Get started on your to-do list so that it’s finished by the time the snow starts to come.

 

Photo credits: raking leaves, furnace filter, gutter

About The Author

Casey C.

I enjoy long walks on the beach...just kidding. Diehard Oilers Fan (#SorryNotSorry). Old Man Millennial.

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