Summer is finally over and the weather is cooling down for the fall season, making it a great time to tackle your home maintenance to-do list. Take care of your fall home maintenance now and protect your home and your wallet from the harsh weather conditions of winter.
Your Home’s Exterior
The exterior of your home is your first defense against snow, ice and rain. Take the time now to closely inspect the exterior and make any necessary repairs and other fall home maintenance tasks. It’s better to tackle these issues now rather than in the middle of a bad snowstorm.
- Fill up cracks and gaps with caulk. You don’t want water or cold air to enter your home through cracks in the foundation or gaps around your windows and doors. Water that end up in these areas can freeze and cause damage and/or mold, while cold air will cause your heating system to become less efficient. Inspect these areas carefully and seal all cracks and gaps with caulk. Also, check the areas where masonry connects with the siding and where pipes or wires penetrate the house.
- Look for peeling or blistering paint. Paint actually protects siding, so when paint wears out, the siding becomes unprotected and can deteriorate. If you see peeling or blistering paint, take action now to remedy the situation and avoid more expensive repairs later.
- Check the condition of your roof. Missing and loose shingles on your roof can lead to water damage, which in turn can ruin your insulation, wood and drywall. All that damage can also have a negative impact on your electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling systems.
- Clean your gutters. If you have trees surrounding your home, you might have a lot of leaves clogging up your gutters and downspouts that, if left uncleaned, could lead to ice dams. Flush out the gutters with water and then inspect the joints. Tighten the brackets if needed.
- Seal the garage. Make sure the seal between your garage door and the ground is tight. This will help keep out the cold air and small animals. Look over your driveway for cracks and other damage and repair them with driveway filler. Finish it off with a commercial sealer.
Indoor Maintenance Tasks
No matter how cold it gets outside, you want to continue to feel comfortable and warm when you’re home. Take action now with this fall home maintenance checklist to ensure that everything’s in good working order so you’ll have peace of mind during the winter.
- Caulk your windows and doors. You’ve already taken care of all the cracks and gaps on the exterior, but you’ll still need to inspect your windows and doors from the inside to make sure all air leaks are eliminated. Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal air leaks.
- Have your heating system maintained. Have a professional do a maintenance check on your heating system. An unit that’s regularly maintained is much more efficient at heating a home and is less likely to break down in the middle of winter.
- Maintain your wood stove or fireplace. The insert in your wood stove or fireplace should have a tight seal and the glass door should be clean and free of any cracks. Get the chimney cleaned professionally to prevent chimney fires.
- Turn your ceiling fans the other way. During the summer, fans should run counter-clockwise to push down air to create a cooling effect. In the fall, set your fans to go clockwise, which will pull up air to the ceiling, forcing the heated air at the ceiling downward. This simple task will keep your interior feeling warmer and more comfortable.
- Clean your humidifier. A humidifier keeps your indoor air comfortable and not too dry, but the unit needs to be cleaned regularly. A dirty water tank in a humidifier can lead to the growth of bacteria and spores, which may be circulated into your indoor air.
Keep your home comfortable and safe during the winter by checking off everything on this fall home maintenance list while the weather’s nice and cool outside. As a bonus, your home will become more efficient and you’ll see some savings on your energy bill.
For more advice on fall home maintenance or to have a professional maintain your HVAC system, contact Griffith Energy Services, Inc. We proudly serve the areas of Baltimore, Frederick, Hagertown, Manassas, Westminster, Easton, Dover and Martinsburg.
Written by Kevin Spain