Save Money, Protect Your House - Fall Home Maintenance
If you live in Ohio, Midwest or upper East Coast you already know that winter can be quite cruel and brutal at times. This can be especially true if you are a home owner that doesn’t properly prepare for the harsh weather ahead.
As a very active Realtor, I have seen the damages that can be brought on a home due to improper or poor winter preparation.
Buyers who have recently purchases, or home owners preparing to sell soon or next spring will do well to double-check Fall maintenance and winterizing is done properly.
13 Fall Maintenance Must-Do's
Some of the tips below may or may not apply to you, but most will:
- Clean out your gutters! Too many homeowners neglect to clean the leaves from the annual dropping of leaves in the fall. A clogged gutter can wreak havoc on your home, leading to damage including future water damage which can cost significantly.
- Did you know that clogged gutters can cause the rain and melting snow to cause water to seep in underneath the siding on your home? I’ve seen many homes that have had mold and fungus on or in the walls from neglected gutters.
- While you are up on your roof cleaning the gutters, check for any loose or missing shingles. The last thing that you want is to encounter roof leakage due to any missing or damaged shingles.
- Seal any cracks in your driveway, patio or sidewalks. Many homeowners fail to seal the cracks in the concrete surfaces and when moisture gets into the cracks, especially when the temperatures have fallen below freezing, it will cause the cracks to expand and cause further damage.
- Scrape, prime and paint any loose or peeling paint on your home. Unprotected wood on your home will eventually rot and can become quite costly to repair.
- Reverse the switches on your ceiling fans. By reversing the direction of the air flow from your ceiling fan downwards, it will force the heat at the ceiling level back into the room and help save you money on your energy bills.
- Check the caulking around all of your exterior doors and windows. If there are any gaps that are wider than the thickness of a nickel, it is costing you unnecessary added expenses on your utility bills. Not to mention, causing cold air drafts in your home.
- When is the last time that you cleaned out the fireplace chimney? If it has been longer than 6 months, you need to do it again now. Many home fires are caused by poor maintenance of chimneys. Did you know that in the spring, many birds may have been checking out your chimney as a nice place to raise their families?
- Don’t forget to turn off the spigots to your outdoor garden hoses. Once you’ve done this, either drain the hoses completely or store them in a warm space to prevent freezing and damage to your hoses.
- Are you done barbecuing for the season? If so, either properly store your grill in a shed or garage or at least put one of those nice vinyl covers over it.
- Don’t forget to add “stabilizer” to the gas in all of your lawn mowers and power equipment. When spring arrives, you’ll be glad that you did!
- Speaking of outdoor power equipment, don’t forget to start up your snow blower and make sure that it doesn’t require any repairs. If you don’t have a snow blower, know where your snow shovel is and keep it handy for the coming months.
- If you have dogs and a fenced yard, go ahead and check out the stability of your fence before the snow flies as well. The last thing that you’ll want to do is to have to throw on your snow boots to chase down your dog that happened to have escaped from the yard.
If you have any suggestions or thoughts of your own, I’d love it if you would place them in the comments section below.