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Fall Home Maintenance & Care

  • Home Owner Tips
  • Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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This post was originally published on October 11, 2016 and updated on September 8, 2020. 

Fall is in full swing and before you start Halloween costume shopping, it’s time to think about getting your home ready for the winter. Much of the routine maintenance that needs to be done this time of year will not only help keep you cozy this winter, it will also save money on your heating bill and protect your biggest investment, your home.

While most of these routine maintenance tasks are fairly simple, it’s important that they get done before cold weather arrives to prevent damage to both your home and wallet.

Below is a checklist of tasks and things to take care of around your home before the winter makes its appearance:

Water Trees & Shrubs

At this time of the year, it is important to properly water trees and shrubs to prevent damage in the winter. For deciduous trees, you’ll want to wait until they have lost all of their leaves before you give them a final soaking before winter, so that the root system is moist when it freezes. Evergreens will require more water as the weather drops closer to zero degrees.

Inspect Eavestroughs & Downspouts

Eavestroughs and downspouts are critical adjuncts to the roof of any home as they must shoulder the responsibility to carry away rainwater and melted snow and ice efficiently. It is crucial that you regularly check for any signs of damage, such as holes, rust or sags. If you find anything suspicious, you must address and fix this as soon as possible.

Check Adjustable Steel Posts in the Basement

Adjustable steel posts or “teleposts” are used to support main beams in the basement and transfer loads to the foundation. Ensure that the bearing plate at the top of the telepost is always resting snugly beneath the beam.

Inspect floor drains

To prevent sewer gas from entering your home through floor drains, make sure water is always present in the drains. To test if your drains have water in them, pour a little water into the drain and listen. You should hear if the water hits more water or if it hits the bottom of the trap. Every few months or if you smell sewer gas, pour a bucket of water down the drain to re-establish the water seal.

Check furnace and ventilation system filters

A dirty or plugged air filter can also limit air flow from the furnace to the ducts. Inspect and clean or replace the furnace air filter at the beginning of the heating season and on a regular basis throughout the winter.

Fall Home Maintenance and Care

Other things to take care of:

  • Check and test CO and smoke detector batteries
  • Ensure all windows are sealed shut
  • Exterior water shut off valves

You can find additional helpful tips and a home maintenance checklist here.

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