Top 10 Things To Do Around The House This Fall

Posted: Sep 29 2017 News

Get your home in shape before the real cold weather comes.

Autumn is a great time for football, hot apple cider, and preparing your home for the cold weather. This can save you some time, money and a great deal of frustration trying to address these items once the snow flies. While the weather is still relatively warm and the ground is not yet frozen and covered in snow, make sure to address these 10 key tasks. They don't require a lot of time or money, and you can likely get them all done on a Saturday morning.

Here's the checklist :

Clean the Gutters -Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.

Caulk up all the gaps - A home with air leaks around windows and doors is like a coat left unbuttoned. Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for a 10% of your heating bills. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.

Inspect your roof -Few homeowner problems are more vexing than a leaky roof. Once the dripping starts, finding the source of the problem can be time-consuming. Stop problems this fall before ice and winter winds turn them from annoyances into disasters. Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.

Fix the walkways & drives - Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems in the fall is also critical to prevent little problems from becoming expensive headaches. Take steps to repair small damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps. But save major repairs for experienced hands.

Close any outside faucets -If you live in an area with freezing weather, take steps to ensure that outside faucets (also called sillcocks) and in-ground irrigation systems don't freeze and burst. Close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. If you don't have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not "freeze-proof " types, you may benefit from styrofoam faucet covers sold at home centers. To freeze proof an in-ground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer's procedure for draining it and protecting it from winter damage.

Freshen your filter - Furnace filters trap dust that would otherwise be deposited on your furniture, woodwork, and so on. Clogged filters make it hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and can seriously increase your utility bills. A simple monthly cleaning or replacing is all it takes to keep these filters breathing free and clear.

Give your furnace a physical - Once a year, it's a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall before the heating season begins.

Keep the humidifier humming- You may know that bone-dry winter air is bad for your health, but did you also know it can make fine wood more prone to cracking? You and your home will feel more comfortable if you keep your central humidifier in tip-top shape during the months it is running.

Head-off gas problems - Keeping a gas heater in good shape is both a safety and a cost issue. An improperly maintained heater can spew poisons into the air of your home, or it may simply be costing you more to operate. Have a professional check these devices annually.

Keep your family safe at home - A home safety check should be an annual ritual in every household. Test smoke and CO monitors, inspect (or install) fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans, and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards.

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