Fall maintenance tasks for your home
Fall is the perfect time of year to take care of projects around the home; the mild temperatures outside are ideal for outdoor repair projects, while indoor projects can help spruce up your home before the holidays. Whether you’re boosting your home’s efficiency, preparing the garden for cold temperatures, or taking care of annual maintenance responsibilities, this checklist of fall maintenance tasks will help your home be ready for the arrival of winter.
–Add weatherstripping. Apply weatherstripping around windows and doors to cut down on air leaks. In addition to keeping your home warmer in the winter – and cooler in the summer – it can help reduce the energy costs of heating and cooling your house.
–Check safety devices. If you last checked your home safety devices during spring cleaning, fall is the perfect time to check them again. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested, replacing batteries as needed. Likewise, all homes should have at least one small fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen; check the expiration date and replace as necessary.
–Remove window AC units. If you used a window air conditioning unit to cool your home this summer, remove them before cold weather arrives. If it cannot be removed, cover the exterior with an insulating wrap to keep cold air out.
–Schedule chimney sweeping and furnace maintenance. Homes with fireplaces should have the chimneys swept at least once per year – whether they burn gas, wood, or pellets. Having the chimney swept in the fall can keep the chimney safe to use all winter long. Likewise, fall is the perfect time for furnace maintenance; having a cleaning and inspection done in the fall can help prevent it going out during the winter!
–Take care of trees and shrubs. Even in warm climates, trees, shrubs, and other plants often go dormant during the winter. “The most important maintenance for a homeowner to do in the fall would be trimming [the] dead out of trees,” says owner and arborist at Arbor Doctor in Calabasas, Bryan Gilles. “Trees are going dormant at this time, and are less likely to get a disease.”
–Clean gutters and downspouts. When the majority of the leaves have fallen off the trees, take the time to clean debris from gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow during rainstorms, damaging the roof, siding, or even the foundation of your home.
–Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your home and look for any damage to the roof, siding, sidewalk, driveway, or foundation. Scheduling repairs during the fall can prevent damage from getting worse during the winter.