While the summers' heat is now becoming a memory and you're changing out your warm weather wardrobe for flannels and boots, it's time to tackle a few simple chores that'll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.
Fall is the perfect time to take on some of these easy tasks so when winter comes you won’t be out in the cold with major home issues. I’ve created an easy-to-follow Fall Maintenance checklist that you can download and print to help you quickly work through the following inspections to help you keep your home up to date and in the best shape possible. Attention to these tasks will help you save money and avoid major issues down the road.
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First on our Maintenance List is your roof. Your roof is essential for keeping your house dry and stable and usually doesn’t get the love it requires. This fall, make sure you inspect your roof for any missing shingles and be sure that it is clean and free of moss. If need be, get up there or hire a roofing contractor to clean it and keep things in working order. Check around the edges for the gutters and eaves/gables. The gutters should be clean of leaves so the rain and snow can properly drain through your gutters. The eaves/gables will need visually inspected for any soffit repairs or rotting wood. Colder weather can exacerbate these issues so giving them the care they need now will hopefully make repairs less costly in the future. Lastly, make sure Santa Clause can come down your chimney by having your chimney swept and maintained.
Next on the list is exterior maintenance to ensure the cold Pittsburgh weather stays outside your home, not inside. Check your doors for any gaps where air is escaping and entering and apply caulking or weather strips to prevent those cold drafts from coming in. Take a walk around the perimeter of your house to check the foundation for any cracks so that the cold freezing water cannot penetrate those areas. If you find cracks, you can buy some easy mix mortar to fill them. Time to go outside to check the outdoor lighting and replace any bulbs so that you don’t freeze your hands off while doing that this winter. Remove any water hoses and insulate the faucets/exposed pipes to keep them from freezing. This can be a huge devastation if those lines freeze, break, and crack. Lastly, channel your inner Clark Griswald and inspect your attic for any signs of moisture ( just don’t get stuck up there and please step on the beams so that you don’t put your foot through the ceiling).
As we work our way outside to in you’ll want to make sure that you have your fall furnace and heating up to date. I have my furnace man come every spring and summer to maintain the unit even if it's just a check up; I know that I will be able to keep the system running at its top level. While he is there, get the filter changed to give you and your family the best air quality and safety. Head downstairs to your basement to inspect the walls and check for any cracks in your foundation. These can be slight settling cracks that just need some mortar filled. Again, doing these little things can prevent these little cracks from turning into big problems later. While you’re working your way around the house check all the carbon monoxide alarms and change the batteries to know they are functioning well for the safety of your family. Be sure your fire extinguisher is ready as your gear up to be cooking those amazing foods during Thanksgiving as we all know accidents can happen.
Once your Thanksgiving feast is done I’m sure you’ll want to head outside for some family fun and football in the yard. Make sure you complete some of these items to have your Lawn & Garden ready. I suggest hiring a landscaper to aerate your lawn (pulling plugs of soil out of your lawn to provide air, water, and nutrients to penetrate your grassroots). Next up are those garden beds so be sure they are clear of any spent annuals; apply mulch to insulate any perennials, and plant flower bulbs for the spring. Once most of the leaves have fallen you can work on trimming any dead branches out of the trees and trimming back any that could potentially fall on the house with heavy winter snows. This will keep the trees and shrubs healthy as you prune off the old and allow for new growth into the spring. When you are done outside, take some time to clean your garden tools and get ready to store them over the winter.
These small things can make a huge difference to your home and regular maintenance can make seasonal transitions much easier allowing you to focus on the more important things. If you need any help or guidance with any of these items please reach out because I’d love to give you a hand with making sure your home is in the most optimal condition for this winter.
Make it a great day,