It may be hard to believe, but fall officially arrives next week! Along with football season, pumpkin spice everything, and Halloween costumes, fall brings an opportunity to prepare your home for the colder winter months ahead. To help you make the most of your fall days, we put together the following maintenance guide.
1. Check Your Roof
Fall is a great time of year to have your roof inspected. Whether you perform a visual inspection on your own or have a professional come out (we can help you find a great roofer!), it’s best to identify and address any areas of concern before temperatures drop and winter weather settles in.
2. Clean Your Gutters and Spouts
As we move toward cooler temperatures, now is as good a time as any to clean your gutters. Wet leaves and debris can easily become a breeding ground for pests, and once the temperatures get low enough, allowing backed-up gutters to freeze can cause sagging or failure, which can lead to expensive repairs. Don’t forget to clean out your drain spouts as well!
3. Check Your Windows and Doors
Drafty windows or doors can wreak havoc on your energy bill. Check each window to ensure that any gaps and spaces are properly sealed with weatherstripping. Additionally, don’t forget to check the weather seal on your garage door — this will also help with retaining heat in your home.
4. Prepare Your Lawn
Caring for your grass in the fall is the best way to achieve a healthy lawn once spring rolls around. At a minimum, continue to mow and water your lawn during the fall to maintain healthy roots. You can also use a pre-emergent fertilizer to prevent weeds and deliver nutrients to your grass, further preparing your lawn to grow back healthy in the spring.
5. Check Your Foundation
Walk around your home, checking your foundation for any cracks or damage. You can also walk throughout the interior of your home and look for jagged cracks in the walls or ceilings — these may be cause for concern. Regardless of the season, it’s always best to catch and address foundation issues before they become problematic!
6. Winterize Your Sprinkler System
If you are turning off your sprinkler system for the winter season, make sure you drain your main line and turn off your backflow device. Whether you choose to leave your system on or off, it’s important that any pipes and equipment that are above ground are properly insulated.
7. Have Your HVAC System Inspected
As the temperatures get cooler, you’ll want to make sure your HVAC system is ready to run smoothly throughout the winter season. An inspection is a great way to test efficiency, promote safety, and ensure that your HVAC system is operating properly.
8. Adjust Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Without getting too deep into the science of why this is important, your fans should be rotating clockwise during the winter months. There is a small switch on your fans that will allow you to make the change. The key benefit to know here is that by rotating clockwise, the fan will pull cooler air up towards the ceiling, pushing warmer air back down where you want it.
9. Test Your Smoke Detectors
Start by going through your home and press the test button on each of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This will tell you if they have power. Next, to test for proper functionality, you can either purchase an aerosol designed to test your alarms or use matches to create a small amount of smoke. If your detectors are more than 10 years old, it may be a good time to replace them altogether, as the sensors can become dirty and unreliable as the years pass by.
10. Ensure Your Fireplace is in Working Order
Prepping your fireplace for the winter season can help prevent fires, save energy, and improve the quality of the air in your home. Whether you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, it’s important to have it properly serviced and cleaned. Here’s a great article that covers both types of fireplaces.
Bonus Tip! Drain and Store Your Hoses
This one is as easy as it gets! Simply drain and store your unused hoses during cooler months to save yourself from having to buy new ones sooner than you should need to!
If you have any fall tips of your own that we can add to this maintenance guide, we’d love to hear them! Additionally, if we can help connect you with a service provider to help with any of the above tasks, simply fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!