Get Ready for Winter with this Fall Home Maintenance Guide
Your home is your safe haven, a place to stay warm, safe and secure as the nights grow longer and the winter draws nearer. Here’s our guide on what to look out for to ensure your home stays in excellent shape and correct minor problems before they become disasters! Read on for our top tips.
1. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Alarms
Arguably the most important fall maintenance tip of all – make sure you and your family stay safe this winter. Your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms may not be things you think about every day, but they can become essential and save lives if your home suffers a fire or gas leak. Test both regularly and replace the batteries as soon as they start to dwindle. Make sure they are installed so that you can hear them wherever you are in the home, both throughout the day and night. If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors or smoke alarms already installed, make this a priority, and ensure you follow the instructions when setting them up.
2. Clean the Gutters
Another essential part of your home that you probably don’t tend to think about so often are your gutters. Gutters are essential for collecting water and moving it away from your home, so it can’t cause any damage. By cleaning your gutters you’ll ensure the water can flow freely away from your walls, foundations and basement. Gutter guards can also help prevent gutters from becoming clogged in the future.
3. Seal Air Leaks
When winter comes, keeping your home warm will become a priority, and preventing air leaks now will certainly pay off – in terms of your comfort and your finances! Heating your home can get expensive – and small air leaks can allow warm air to escape. Check window seals, trim around doors, and weather stripping regularly. If you find it is damaged or coming apart, you might choose to replace it, or use an inexpensive method to fill the holes, for example caulk or foam sealant.
4. Paint the Exterior of Your Home
Painting the outside of your home might not feel like an important part of your Fall maintenance routine, but a new lick of paint can really make a difference to how your home looks. An inviting, freshly painted home can also make all the difference to how you feel about coming home after a long hard day at work, on a cold winter evening. October and November also bring the perfect temperatures for this task, which can be impractical in the hot, humid summer, or the depths of winter.
5. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is an essential part of your home, protecting you and your family from the elements. Fall is the perfect time to check your roof is in good shape, before the harsh winter months arrive and bring with them snow, ice and storms. Check for leaks and water damage, and signs that the roof deck is sagging, or missing shingles. Also, watch out for general wear and tear that might need to be fixed before it turns into an expensive, difficult problem to handle.
6. Drain and Wrap Water Pipes
Draining and wrapping your water pipers can be key to keeping pipes form bursting if you live in an area with temperatures at or below freezing. Shut-off valves connected to outside faucets should be closed; you can then drain the line by opening the outside faucet. Heating tape can be used to wrap water pipes running along exterior walls, to prevent freezing and save energy.
7. Inspect your Fireplace
There are several things that can be done to ensure a safe, well-maintained fireplace.
Here’s how to inspect your fireplace:
- Check for creosote: Creosote is created when you burn wood, and can be flammable if it builds up. An experienced chimney sweep can clean your fireplace thoroughly and ensure its safety.
- Add a chimney cap: Chimney caps can prevent birds from nesting on top of your chimney and stop animals or debris from falling inside, keeping your chimney cleaner and clearer.
- Check your damper: Check that it is possible to move your damper open and closed; the damper opens and closes the flue.
- Check for external damage: Ensure there are no breakages or visible damage to the outside of your chimney.
Finding the time to complete regular home maintenance is essential to prevent any issues from escalating.
Follow our top tips and you’ll be well on the way to a happy, cozy home this winter!