Conserving Heat is Key to Fall Home Maintenance
Weatherization is one of the most important fall home maintenance jobs. This includes caulking windows and sealing openings in siding. Door seals are often overlooked. Check the weatherstripping on the edges of every door, and replace any that is falling apart. Adjust the sweep on your storm and screen doors to make sure it is providing an adequate seal.
Reducing Damage From Weather
Variable temperatures, freezing precipitation, and gusty winds are hard on your home’s exterior. Complete fall home maintenance tasks to prepare your home for winter weather.
The blistering summer sun may have degraded paint on exposed wooden surfaces. Give them a fresh coat before winter sets in. Re-seal any unpainted wood surfaces. Check gutter downspouts so that their discharge does not create icy patches on sidewalks and driveways. Clean the gutters so that water will not overflow from them and pool around your foundation. Disconnect garden hoses and drain them to prevent damage to spigots and hoses. Insulate exterior faucets and pipes.
Preparing the Heating System
When heating our homes in the winter, we want to maximize energy efficiency and make sure the system won’t fail on a freezing night. Get your heating system serviced and cleaned so that it will operate properly throughout the winter. A clean, well-maintained furnace is less likely to break down and it will also use less energy. As an added bonus, an air duct cleaning will alleviate allergy symptoms.
Fall Home Maintenance for Safety
During the winter, we turn on our furnaces to create a comfortable temperature inside the home. If the system is powered by gas, it can create carbon monoxide. A critical step in fall home maintenance is to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and make sure they have fresh batteries.
Prepare your walking surfaces for safety. During a fall rainstorm, watch the runoff on your sidewalks and driveway. We’ve already noted the importance of proper routing for downspouts, but general runoff is important too. During winter, runoff may freeze and make your walkways dangerously slippery.
You may need to beef up your insulation as part of your fall home maintenance work. This will help the heat stay inside your home. Rolled fiberglass insulation can be added to attics and crawl spaces. If you don’t feel comfortable handling insulation, hire a contractor.
With the kids back in school and the holidays just around the corner, fall is a busy time. These simple tasks can go a long way toward making your home safer and more energy efficient in the winter.