When the leaves begin to fall and you bring out your warm clothes from storage, it is also time to start on your fall home maintenance checklist. Before the temperatures dip any further, you need to get your home and landscape ready for winter. Do not overlook these five essential tasks when you are doing your fall maintenance this year.
1. Get Your Fireplace Cleaned and Inspected For Damage
If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove in your home, you should not light your first fire of the season before you have had the chimney inspected. Unseen damage could lead to a smoky fire or even deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Having your chimney cleaned each fall is also essential to prevent chimney fires from accumulated creosote.
2. Weatherproof Your Doors and Windows
If your windows and doors are not properly weatherproofed, you can end up losing an enormous amount of energy through air leaks. No one wants a cold, drafty home during the winter months. Prevent leaky entry points by adding weather stripping around doors and windows and replacing worn door sweeps.
3. Make a Roof Inspection Part of Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
The winter months are rough on a roof and if yours is not in great shape, the damage can multiply. Have your roof inspected to be sure there are no loose shingles, leaks, or damaged seals. The inspector will also check the integrity of the gutters and flashing to be sure they are not in need of repair before snow and ice make it impossible to do roof work.
4. Winterize Your Pipes and Insulate Ductwork
When temperatures fall below freezing, your pipes are in danger of bursting if you have not prepared them in the fall. You should have any leaks repaired at this time. Since you will not be using your outdoor taps, be sure you drain all water from these pipes and shut off their water supply.
Use foam to insulate the outdoor spigots so they will be protected during freezing weather. Use foam pipe insulation on any exposed plumbing pipes that are in your basement or crawlspace too. Another important item on your fall home maintenance checklist is insulating your ductwork. This can be done by wrapping your ducts in special foil you can pick up at any home improvement store.
5. Prepare Your Yard and Garden For the Cold
Fall is the time to put your landscape to sleep for the winter. Rake up all fall leaves from your lawn, pull the last of the weeds from your flower beds and stash your sprinklers. Protect your perennial plants with a thick layer of mulch around the roots. This is also the time to bring your potted plants inside as they are more susceptible to the cold. Make sure to spray them off with water first to avoid bringing in unwanted bugs.
Once you get through your fall maintenance tasks, you will be ready to enjoy the winter season knowing that your home is ready to weather the cold.