Fall is a wonderful time — if your home is ready for it. So enjoy the last few weeks of warmer weather, but do a little preventative maintenance while you’re at it. You’ll fix small problems before they become big, and big ones before they become catastrophes. Here are 10 tips to help:
Look up. Examine your roof closely. Moss should be removed and debris cleared from gutters and downspouts. Repairing damage is crucial before fall weather is in full swing.
Look down. Check for signs of animals and insects around your home and garage, including the basement and crawlspace. If you need help getting unwanted guests out, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional.
Keep things warm. Heat escapes through leaks around windows and doors, so seal up any drafty areas. Outside, put covers over faucets before temperatures drop.
Keep things dry. Drain outdoor hoses, faucets and irrigation systems. Look in the basement and crawlspace for wet spots. And make sure your water heater or boiler aren’t leaking.
Clear the air (or vents and filters, at least). When’s the last time you checked your dryer vent? You should take a look at attic vents and exhaust ducts as well. And change that furnace filter, too!
Take a walk. Cracks in your driveway or walkways will only get bigger, so get them fixed soon. If your deck has signs of wear, make repairs while the weather is still good.
Get a tune-up. You or a professional should clean and tune your furnace, boiler and/or water heater, as well as your oven and range.
Don’t play with fire. Before building your first fire of the season, check for soot or creosote build-up.
Don’t play with fire extinguishers, either. But check them to ensure they still have pressure. Don’t have fire extinguishers? Put them on your shopping list, ideally one for each floor.
Don’t forget those smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries when needed, and test regularly that alarms are working.
Want to keep going? You can get a checklist from the National Center for Healthy Housing here: http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/library/hhi/Healthy_Housing_CheckList.pdf.
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