Fall Home Maintenance Checklist – How to be Healthy & Be Safe
Protect your home and family with our fall home maintenance checklist. Dropping temperatures and leaves heralds the start of the cold and flu season. Prepping your home inside and out helps keep your family healthier during the winter season.
It is time to start your autumn to-do list. Keep mold at bay, inside air clean, and protect against frozen pipes. Dampness promotes mold. Sealing leaky areas, cleaning in and around your home exterior and taking care of HVAC systems are a must.
10 Point Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
1. Caulk and Seal
Drafty houses mean heat leaks out and energy costs increase. It is time for sealing up gaps around windows and doors. On your home’s exterior, check around windows and doors. Caulk gaps between casings and siding/brick. Inside, use weather stripping and foam tape around windows and doors. This stops drafts and leaking air.
Not sure where the drafts are coming from? Here is a tip on how to find out where the draft originates. Take a lighted incense stick. Slowly move it around your windows. Notice where drafts alter the direction of the smoke.
Missing a leak may lead to condensation between panes of glass. This can lead to mold and mildew growth. Do you think there is still an area leaking air? Take another lighted incense stick and move it around the window. Find the leak and seal it up.
2. Window Condensation, Ventilation, and Dehumidifiers
Caulking and sealing have a downside. Drafty windows and doors provide ventilation, moving fresh air in and moisture out. After caulking and sealing, do you still see condensation accumulation around windows? This telltale sign indicates your home ventilation needs a little help. Ignore it and watch mold and mildew increase.
What to do? Run a dehumidifier, pulling excess moisture out. Turn on fans, circulating inside air around. On milder days, crack open a window pulling fresh air in and letting stale air out and excess moisture out.
3. Water Leaks Around Windows
During rainy, sleeting days, do you still see water around windows? Make sure windows are closed all the way. Lock them. This helps close gaps where moisture comes through.
Is water still leaking in? Is it coming from around the top of the window? It may not be the window that is the problem. Instead, water may leak in through roofing or siding sending water dripping down into the wall. This goes beyond basic DIY repairs. You’ll need a licensed contractor to take a look.
Puroclean can help. Their construction crews know where to look and how to fix those leaking spots.
4. Heating System Maintenance
Air quality starts with home HVAC systems. We seal our homes in winter, shutting windows, sealing windows and doors. Because of this, our HVAC has a greater impact on in house air quality.
Make sure whatever heating source you use, to have it serviced. We recommend having your heating system checked by a licensed contractor. On your own, make sure to replace air filters monthly.
Clean woodstoves and fireplaces. Get their flues cleaned. When it comes time to fire them up, you want airflow around them to be tip-top. Store wood at least 20 feet from the house. This helps reduce mice and ant infestations in the home.
Reverse ceiling fans, blowing air down. This keeps warm air from accumulating at ceiling level, pushing it down and through rooms.
Check batteries on carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. Install both alarms if you do not have any.
5. Fall Pipe Maintenance
Each year Oklahoma sees a few dangerously cold days and quite a few days below freezing. Before frost hits, remove and store outside hoses. Cover outside water faucets with spigot covers. Disconnect and drain sprinkler systems.
On extra cold days, open inside cupboards where you have inside pipes. Allow warmer air in and around the plumbing. Let faucets drip slowly, keeping water flowing. Moving water helps prevent water from freezing in the pipes.
6. Fall Gutters and Downspouts Cleaning
Gutters and downspouts move water out and away from your home. This helps prevent water from leaking back into the house which can damage roofs and siding. Keep the water flowing. Clean leaves and branches out of gutters and downspouts. Inspect their joints and brackets, tightening up anything loose. Make sure downspouts extend at least 5 feet away from the house. Clear debris away from the end of downspouts. This keeps water flowing away from the house, preventing water from pooling around the foundation.
7. Check Your Roof
Climb up and look at the shingles. Everything should be flat and even. Do you see shingles bent or missing? Now is the time to replace them. Freezing rain and sleet travel up damage shingles. Eventually, water leaks into attics causing water damage, mold and mildew growth. Replacing shingles now prevents future costly damage.
8. Fall Landscaping Maintenance
Reduce moisture sites and rodent havens around the outside of your home. Clear debris away from the house. This includes removing fallen leaves, trimming back bushes and branches. Is water accumulating around the foundation? Make sure landscaping slants away from the hose so water drains off and away from the foundation.
9. Check Attics for Critter Hotels
Changing temperatures have varmints looking for warmth and protection. Attics become havens for our furry neighbors. Not only do they do damage to the home but they are a health hazard. Check attic vent and gable coverings. Fix any holes that you find. See any varmint leavings? Consider bringing in an exterminator or placing traps to catch and remove unwanted guests. Walk around the house, checking soffit and fascia. Cover up holes where birds might find shelter.
10. Paint, Caulk & Seal Exteriors
Check brickwork, siding and wooden home exteriors. Now is the time for repairs. Freshen paint where it is peeling. Caulk bricking that has worn through. Seal any exterior areas that have worn away, exposing your home to water damage.
Cozy Up this Winter with our Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Each item on the checklist is important. It helps homes stay in tip-top shape. It helps keep your family warm and healthy. With dropping temperatures, get out the hot chocolate while you cozy up to the fire. Enjoy winter in your warm, dry, and comfy home.
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