A Complete Guide for Fall Home Maintenance
Fall is a beautiful time of year. It's also the time of year to prep your home for falling leaves, cooler weather, and, eventually, winter storms. Tackling home maintenance tasks now can help prevent future issues from arising. From checking your roof for leaks to cleaning out your gutters, WIN has you covered! By following our Fall Maintenance Guide, you can ensure that your home is in good shape for the season.
Fall Maintenance Guide
- Inspect the Fireplace and Chimney – With the summer heat, you likely haven’t used your fireplace in months. Whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, it’s important to have your fireplace and chimney inspected to help prevent smoke, water vapor, and other air pollutants from entering your home. WIN offers a comprehensive Fireplace and Chimney Inspection to help take the guesswork out of knowing the condition of your fireplace.
- Sweep the Chimney - Before you start using your fireplace during the winter months, have your chimney carefully inspected, looking for cracks and soot buildup. If needed, schedule a chimney sweep or cleaning. Maintaining a clean fireplace and chimney is the best way to remove creosote, a byproduct of wood combustion that contains tar and toxins and keeps your home clean and healthy all year round.
- Clean Your Gutters - Your gutters and downspouts work harder in the fall and winter months as falling leaves and rainy weather begins. Clean out and check gutters and downspouts prior to the season changing. Make sure they are properly fitted to the house, free of debris, and are in good condition, looking for any signs of wood rot on the soffit and fascia boards. Finally, make sure the downspouts angle away from the home. When conducting a gutter cleaning, be sure to practice ladder safety or hire a professional.
- Inspect Your Roof – Your roof is one of the most essential components of your home, keeping you and your family safe. With the seasons changing and new weather patterns moving in, take a careful look at your roof. Be on the lookout for peeling, loose, broken, or missing shingles as well as sagging roof lines. These could be signs of water leaks and could cause serious damage if left unattended. Replace any damaged or missing shingles, trim, soffit or other roofing materials before the leaves and snow set in. Be mindful that the roof can be a dangerous area to inspect. Consider WIN’s Drone Roof Inspection so you can have peace of mind and stay safe.
- Close the Pool – If you have a pool, it’s critical that you close the pool at the end of the summer season. Closing the pool every year preserves the condition of your pool and equipment so it’s ready for the next season. Store away pool equipment, shock the water, clean the filtration system and securely cover your pool. If needed, a local pool professional can help you.
- Maintain Your Lawn - Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house to reduce leaves in the gutters, damage to the roof, and hiding places for rodents. Also make sure there is no wood-to-soil contact with the siding.
- Check Your HVAC – Your air conditioner (or A/C unit) has probably been running on cool all summer long, but now as temperatures begin to drop, you’ll need to start cranking up the heat. Make sure your furnace is ready to avoid any unexpected breakdowns during the winter. Inspecting your HVAC can also help increase overall efficiency and save you money. Bring in your local handyman to give your furnace a tune-up. They’ll check all parts of the unit, including the filters, to make sure everything is in working order.
- Test Your Detectors – Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested every month; however, for some that’s not always top of mind. While you’re bringing out your holiday decorations this season, remember to check the batteries in your detectors to ensure they are working properly.
- Seal Your Driveway, Walkways, Sidewalks, and Stairs - Carefully assess your driveway, sidewalk, and other outdoor walkways. Repair any cracks as the cold weather expands and contracts the concrete which can cause further damage. Consider winterizing your driveway, walkway and stairs by ensuring handrails are sturdy and trip hazards are eliminated. If you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall, keep rock salt or cat litter on hand to keep pathways clear from ice.
- Seal Air Leaks – Did you know air can leak out of the tiniest gaps in your door and window frames? While it may only be a little bit of air, these leaks cause your HVAC unit to work harder to keep your home cool or warm which leads to inflated bills. Save some money and preserve your HVAC unit by sealing your windows and doors with caulk or weatherstrips.
Prepare For Fall with Home Maintenance Inspection
WIN offers Home Maintenance Inspection, a service that allows homeowners to stay ahead of issues, ensure safety and potentially avoid costly repairs. From the foundation and roof to the plumbing and HVAC, there are many areas of a home that need to be monitored year-round. Unfortunately for many homeowners, these issues go unnoticed, leading to expensive repairs.
Getting a Home Maintenance Inspection is like getting an annual check-up at the doctor’s office. It helps homeowners stay proactive with preventative care. Fall is a great season to have this annual inspection to make sure your home is in good condition and is ready for colder weather.
What’s included in a Home Maintenance Inspection?
Most people often take a reactionary approach to maintenance, and only address or repair something once it breaks. However, as homeowners, we should be taking a proactive approach and identifying repairs or maintenance before they become bigger, more expensive, issues.
A Home Maintenance Inspection assesses the current condition of:
- Gutters and Drain Spouts
- Fireplaces and Chimneys
- Heating and Air Conditioning Units
- Smoke Detectors and Other Safety Equipment
- Plumbing and Faucets
- Windows and Doors
- Basement Walls and Drains
- Electrical Panels and Wiring
- And More!
If you think you may have a problem with your home that you want to address, need help prioritizing repairs, or would like to know the overall condition of your house, visit wini.com to find a highly trained WIN Home Inspector near you and schedule a Home Maintenance Inspection now so you can enjoy all that the fall season has to offer!