These fall home maintenance tips will ensure your home is ready for the cold winter months ahead. Fall officially begins tomorrow and that means it’s time to prepare your home for the coming winter season. Doing regular maintenance to your home each season is a wonderful way to keep you home in tip-top shape and will alert you to any major problems before they become major problems. Make a habit of doing these maintenance chores regularly to keep your home working for you and your family.

Fall Home Maintenance

Gutters – Clean gutters regularly, but especially in the fall after the leaves have fallen. Remove and leaves, twigs, and other debris. Use a hose to force any clogs out of the downspouts. This can be a dangerous job, especially for those who are older or in poor health. Consider hiring someone who is skilled to do this job or consider installing gutter guards so the chore can be eliminated.

Perimeter of Home – Check the perimeter of your home for loose foundation, cracked siding or other ways that water can enter your home. Seal with appropriate material (ask at your local hardware store which product will work best for your problem).

Doors – If your home is drafty, the door might be where the drafts is coming from. Check to make sure weather stripping is still in good condition and replace if it has become worn. A tight seal around your doors will keep your home more comfortable and cost less to heat it during the cold months.

Windows – Check windows to make sure there are no drafts. Use caulk to fill in gaps and replace any cracked or broken windows while it’s still warm enough to work outside.

Fireplace – Nothing is better during the winter than sitting in front of a fire all toasty warm. Nothing is worse than a house fire caused by a chimney fire. Have your fireplace inspected before using this season. The same goes for gas fireplaces. Have a professional inspect your fireplace to ensure everything is running as it should be.

Furnace – Most heating companies offer free inspections this time of year. Take them up on it. They will let you know if anything needs to be fixed and exactly how much it will cost. They will probably offer you an incentive – in the form of a discount – to fix any issues right away. Don’t forget to replace the filter on your furnace regularly.

Water Pipes – Turn off any exterior water faucets to prevent burst pipes during the winter. Drain the pipe and leave the valve open to prevent damage from freezing.

Tools – Clean your garden tools and put them away for the season. Scrub away and dirt and debris from shovels, hoes, rakes etc. Now is a great time to bring your lawn mower in for maintenance.

Trees – Trim any dead branches to prevent damage to your home during a storm.

Smoke Detectors – Be sure to check that the batteries are fresh in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Test each one to make sure they are working properly. If not replace any that are broken or not working.