As summer winds down, kids go back to school and the weather starts to cool, Fall is a great time to “check in” with your home. It is great to do this twice a year to keep your home in the best shape. Here are some things that you may want to consider looking into before heading into the winter/holiday season, to assure that your home runs efficiently and to prevent costly maintenance issues down the road.
Clean filters. Heating/air filters should be replaced twice a year. If you have the permanent kind, it is simply a matter of hosing them off and letting them dry out before reinstalling.
Check functionality and change smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Get a termite inspection. This is something that is most important, yet many people don’t ever do it. Many companies offer free inspections, so it is merely a matter of figuring out when you can be home to have one done. It is not only good to assure you are termite free, but there could be other pests or rodents nesting you attics and other places, and there could be wood rot around your home that if left unattended, may be expensive down the road.
Change filters in your refrigerator, water purification systems and softener systems
Clear and check rain gutters. Keeping them clear could prevent water damage to your home once the rainy season hits.
Check sprinkler systems for any broken or misdirected sprinklers, and any leaks
Clean dryer vent to outside of home. Many homeowners neglect to do this – ever. It is simple to do with a ladder and narrow brush with a long handle. It can prevent fires.
Check under all sinks for running water or signs of leakage
Make sure toilets are secured to floors. If not, it is very simple and very cheap to re-caulk
Check caulking around showers and tubs. Again, caulking is very inexpensive and easy to DIY. Ignoring it could lead to water intrusion underneath showers and tubs and in walls – what could be a very costly problem down the road.
Check your roof. If you have not done so in a long time, it is important to have your roof checked. Time and weather can loosen or crack tiles or other roofing materials. It is smart to have a roof inspection at least every few years, as it could save you time and money.
Trim trees. If you have trees growing close to your home, it is imperative to keep them trimmed so that rodents and other critters cannot use them to access your roof and attic.
Check your water heater for signs of leaking. If it is over 10 years old you may want to consider replacing it before you have a problem. Call a service company to provide an analysis.
Trim any brush around your property that could catch fire
Replace torn/broken window screens
Clean your home. This can be fun by getting the entire family (or roommates, etc.) involved. Eliminating clutter will keep things clean, help maintain your home, and will make problems easier to spot down the road.
The above are just some suggestions to keep your home in tip top shape, and many items can be DIY items. If you don’t want to do it yourself or don’t have the time, you can call a handyperson (who will be able to take care of many things on the list, but not all), or you can pay a home inspector to come out and check everything. Of course, depending on the location of your home there may be other items that are important to include in the list. Maintaining your home will keep it from falling into disrepair, which can end up costing more money in the future.