As the weather begins to grow colder it is important to prepare for the winter months to prevent costly damage. Below are a few fall preventative home maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.
Gutters and Downspouts
Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent buildup of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters.
Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
Ensure that water drains properly and does not pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Windows and Doors
Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.
Replace the filter in your furnace.
Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
Chimney and Fireplace
Call a professional from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Find a CSIA-certified inspector near you at http://www.csia.orgin.
Landscape and Yardwork
Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.