School is back in session and it won’t be long before those first crisp days of autumn arrive. Now is the time to do a little home maintenance and get a jump start on preparing your home for winter. Take some time to check these annual chores off your list helping you keep your home in tip-top shape. Furthermore, if you accomplish these tasks sooner rather than later, you’ll have more time to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and other autumn activities like football games and chili cookouts with friends instead of worrying about taking care of details at home. This fall maintenance checklist will get you started:
· Check all window and door locks for proper operation. If all locks are working properly they will help deter potential criminals from breaking in your home. All exterior doors should have deadbolt locks. If they do not, consider installing them.
· Check your home for water leaks and prevent future leaks. Clear and remove debris such as sticks and leaves from gutters and downspouts. If you notice water stains on the ceiling, inspect your roof for cracked, curling or broken roof shingles and replace or fix them. Check the roof valleys, flashing, vents and chimney flues for leaks and make repairs.
· Make an appointment with a heating professional to service your furnace. Replace the furnace filter. Also hire a certified chimney sweep to inspect chimneys, flues and dampers for fireplaces and woodstoves. Clear all pipes of soot and creosote.
· Make sure stairways are safe. Install nightlights (or replace bulbs) at the top and bottom of each stair case. Resurface stair treads covered with tile, wood or concrete with no-slip treads. Clear the stairways. Nothing should be stored on the stairs. Create a clear walking path. Inspect handrails to make sure they are sturdy and anchored properly.
· Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Make sure both of these life savers are in proper working order. Replace batteries in battery operated alarms. Dust and test them.
· Prepare your home for winter. Protect you pipes to prevent freezing with the temperature drops. Inspect, repair/replace window and door seals including caulking to prevent heating loss throughout the winter months.
With a little effort, The House Plan Shop is certain you will have this fall maintenance check list done in no time.
Fall is here and winter is right around the corner. Now is a good time to do a little home maintenance both indoors and out. This maintenance checklist will help you get started inside.
· Clean closets – You can quickly determine if your closets need a little attention with two easy tests. Can you close the closet door easily? Can you see any floor space? If you answered “NO” to one or both of these questions, it is time to get organized. Begin by clearing out any items that you don’t wear or use any more. Donate what you can to charity Make room for your winter wardrobe. Pack summer clothing and other items and store them elsewhere. Broken items or gloves and shoes that are missing their match should be thrown out. Likewise with clothing items that have broken zippers and other flaws that cannot be repaired. Add compartments and organizers to your closets at different levels to utilize more space. Finish one closet before you move on to the next one.
· Maintain Large Appliances – With the holidays coming, you need to make sure your appliances can handle the demands you place on them. Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and clean the condenser coils with a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment. Also, clean the lower front grille. Thoroughly clean the oven and stove. Freshen up your garbage disposal by packing it with ice cubes and ¼ cub of baking soda. Turn it on and let it run until the ice grinding noise stops. Then pour a quart-size pot of boiling water down to rinse.
· Maintain Woodwork – This is a good time of the year to repair woodwork because indoor air is at its driest. Re-glue any wood trim or broken pieces or parts of furniture such as a wobbly arm on a dining room chair or a loose piece of trim around the entry door.
For information about outdoor home maintenance review last week’s posting, Outdoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.
It is time to do a little home maintenance both indoors and out. This maintenance checklist will help you get started outside.
· Remove Leaves from Problem Areas – Take some time to clean out gutters and make sure water flows properly through them. Remove leaves from the roof that have settled in low places such as roof valleys. Rake or mulch your yard with the lawn mower so layers of leaves do not kill the grass beneath. Clear leaf buildup from ditches and culverts on your property. This prevents water flow from washing away soil and damaging your landscaping.
· Check your Sump Pump – Some homes with basements in wet areas have sump pumps that turn on automatically when ground water levels rise. They eliminate water in the basement before it becomes a problem. If your home has a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition before winter snows melt and the rainy season starts.
· Maintain Moisture in Your Home – With the air at its driest, fall and winter can further rob your home of moisture, especially if you have forced air, a wood stove or a wood burning fireplace. A touch of moisture makes the heated air feel warmer allowing you to set the thermostat at a slightly lower temperature. (Think of it like humidity in the summertime…the more humid the air is the warmer it feels.) If your skin seems dry or your woodwork is cracking, you need moisture in your home. Consider a furnace-mounted humidifier or putting a teakettle on the wood stove.
· Trim Problem Trees – Trees are dormant during the fall and winter. Identify those that need to be trimmed. Pay attention to limbs and branches that are too close to your home potentially causing damage if they fall or break during a storm. Look for limbs that might brush against your home on a windy day scratching or damaging the exterior finish. Make note of trees that heavily shade your roof causing moss and/or mildew to grow. Once you’ve identified the problem trees hire a professional to trim and cut them back.
For more information, check back next week for the upcoming posting, Indoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.
Summer has past and fall is here. With winter is just around the corner, autumn is the perfect time to take care of a few things inside and outside your home before winter weather arrives. The home maintenance checklist below will help you complete all the necessary tasks that might otherwise be forgotten without this little reminder.
· Inspect weatherstripping around exterior doors and windows for signs of deterioration and replace it or make necessary repairs.
· Keep an eye out for sales and deals on close out items left over from summer. Purchase and/or replace any lawn and garden tools. You’ll be ready for next spring at half the price.
· Shampoo carpets and paint interior rooms while it is still warm enough outside to leave the windows open.
· Check your heating system and make sure it is functioning properly. Check filters and pilot lights. Schedule an appointment to have your heating system service by a professional.
· Vacuum and clean dust from vents, ducts, cold air returns and baseboard heaters.
· Remove and store window air conditioning units. Units that cannot be removed should be covered with plastic for protection throughout the winter.
· Detach hoses in case of freezing temperatures and store them in the garage or garden shed.
· Clean gutters after all the leaves have fallen and make sure downspouts are functioning properly.
· Set automatic sprinklers for winter.