Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Fall is officially here! You've switched from iced coffee to hot lattes, traded your tank tops for sweaters, and maybe even given in to the pumpkin spice everything trend. With everything else in your life ready to embrace the new season, it's time to consider what cooler temperatures mean for your home. Don't worry, we've got your back. We've compiled the top fall home maintenance tips from Houzz, DIY Network, Better Homes & Gardens, and HomeAdvisor.com to create the ultimate checklist!
Don't Leave the Leaves.
Fall foliage is great for seasonal photos, but not so great for gutters and lawns. Frequently removing leaves and other debris from gutters will prevent pests, wood rot, and damage to your roof. Keeping gutters free of build up will also prevent pooling which can damage foundations, walkways, and driveways.
Don't say goodbye to routine yard work just yet, either. Wet, rotting leaves will not only suffocate the grass, but can lead to insect problems, as well. Regular raking and leaf removal will also encourage deep roots and healthy spring growth!
Pro Tip: Fallen leaves are an excellent source of nutrients and make the perfect addition to compost piles and flower beds.
Seal it Up.
Those drafty doors and windows are costing you! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for 10 percent of your heating bills.
- Inspect and replace weather-stripping around doors and windows.
- Don't forget to check entry points for electrical, cable, and phone for gaps, as well. Seal gaps with appropriate caulk.
- Fill small holes and use heavy-duty cloth to cover larger gaps on the exterior of your home to keep the wind, and the wildlife, outdoors where they belong.
You'll likely be spending a lot more time indoors, so one of the must-do parts of your checklist should include checking a safety check of the systems in your home.
- If your home is heated by a gas heater or furnace, consider scheduling an inspection with a licensed heating contractor to check for dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.
- Test all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Replace all batteries.
- Clean dryer vents. The increase in static electricity this time of year can cause lint to ignite.
- Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace as needed.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires.
- Review and practice your fire escape plan.
Protect Your Pipes
The weather may be mild for now, but it won't stay that way for long. Take action before temperatures dip below freezing to prevent the hassle of frozen pipes.
- Wrap pipes on exterior walls with heating tap and check for proper insulation to prevent freezing.
- Turn off valves to exterior faucets and remove any connected hoses. If you don't have a shut off valve, consider purchasing a faucet cover.
- Identify where your home's water shut off valve is in case pipes do freeze.
Stock Up Early.
Winter is just around the corner. Making winter prep part of your FaIl checklist means one less headache when the first snowflake falls!
- Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed.
- Pick up a few bags of pet- and plant-safe ice melt.
- Restock emergency kits for car and home.
- Fuel up and service your snowblower.