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September 22, 2016

Checklist: Home Maintenance Tips for the Fall

The air is beginning to cool, the leaves are changing from green to bright red, yellow or orange, and everywhere you turn you’re met with pumpkin-flavored items, which can only mean one thing—autumn is coming.

And while it might not seem like fall is a typical season for home maintenance, doing a few things around your house now can make the winter more pleasant and your spring home maintenance a little less lengthy.

Home maintenance tips for the fall

  • Put away your garden hoses and check outdoor faucets: Remove any garden hoses from your outdoor faucets and shut off valves to your outdoor water supply. Drain your hoses and store them in a covered area like the garage or a shed.
  • Check the exterior of your home: Inspect your home’s exterior paint. If you notice it’s starting to peel, it’s time to repaint. While you’re checking the paint, look for any gaps near window or door frames or where pipes or wires enter your home. You can seal these gaps with a tube of caulk that is a similar color to the exterior of your home.
  • Check the windows and doors: Drafty windows and doors can make for an uncomfortable winter and a hefty heating bill. Check windows and doors—including your garage door—for drafts and either use caulk or weather stripping to seal any gaps. Also, replace screens with storm windows.
  • Take care of your lawn or garden: Give your lawn a little boost by aerating it. This lets moisture and nutrients get to the roots. Also, don’t forget to rake or use a mulching mower to get rid of piles of thick leaves. Use the mulched or raked leaves to give your flower bed or garden an extra boost of nutrients.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Check to make sure each detector is functional and replace the batteries in each.
  • Clean the gutters: The falling leaves can quickly make for clogged gutters. Once the leaves have finished falling, clean out—or hire someone to clean out—the leaves, twigs and other items that could stop up your gutters. Make sure your gutters aren’t sagging and your downspouts are at least five feet away from your house.
  • Inspect your roof: You don’t have to climb on your roof to get a good look at its condition. Use binoculars and stand in your driveway. If you notice things like buckled, cracked or missing shingles, masses or moss, or a cracked or loosened collar on your plumbing stack, hire a professional to evaluate your roof.
  • Get a furnace and fireplace checkup: Clean and replace the filters in your furnace, and get a professional to inspect your heating system. If you have a gas furnace, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. If you have a fireplace, check to make sure the door gasket has a tight seal.
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