Fall Home Maintenance Tips
Home maintenance is the best thing you can do to avoid costly surprises (and prevent items from showing up on your home inspection report). Fall is an excellent time to take care of the little things that can make a big difference for you and your home. The majority of our tips can be handled rather easily by most homeowners, but it’s worth the expense even if you choose to have a professional take care of them. Below are 6 fall home maintenance tips provided by New Leaf Home Inspections.
1. Fertilize Your Lawn
It’s important to prep your lawn for fall and winter. Roots are still active during this time, even though growth has slowed. Applying fertilizer can prevent winter damage and help your lawn turn green faster when spring arrives. Watering during the fall season is still important and helps your lawn recover from the stress of summer and gain strength for the upcoming winter.
2. Check and Test Your Smoke Detectors
Fall is a great time to test your smoke detectors. Smoke detector batteries should be replaced twice a year. “Chirping” noises emitted from smoke detectors typically indicate that batteries need replacing.
What many people don’t realize is that the smoke detector’s date of manufacture should also be checked. Smoke detectors that are at, or greater than 10 years of age should be replaced. Checking the manufacture date can be achieved by removing the detector and looking on the back of the device for a sticker that contains the date.
3. Change Your HVAC Filters
HVAC filters should be checked monthly
and cleaned or replaced, as needed,
throughout the year. If checking the filter
has slipped your mind lately, now is the
time to give it a look. A clean air filter
is important to ensure that the HVAC
system is running efficiently. It can also
reduce energy costs and help maintain
healthy air quality for you and your family.
4. Inspect Gutters and Downspouts
You may have noticed leaves starting to accumulate on the ground around your home. What you may not have noticed are the leaves that have accumulated in your gutters. Leaves and debris in the gutters can cause them to overflow and allow water to accumulate at the building foundation. Keeping your gutters free and clear of debris will allow water to drain properly. You should also inspect your downspouts to make sure there are no obstructions that can interfere with water drainage. A plumber’s snake can be a great tool for pulling debris out of clogged downspouts.
5. Inspect Your Fireplace
Inspecting a fireplace can be a messy job. It’s best to wear old clothes, a dust mask or respirator and safety glasses. Test the damper to make sure it opens, closes and seals properly. Open the damper and shine a flashlight into the flue to make sure it’s free of debris or other obstructions. Metal flue liners should be clean and free of any damage. Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. This can allow excessive heat to transfer through the cracks to the metal shell (box) and to the wood framing.
If your fireplace hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it’s a good idea to order a professional inspection and cleaning.
6. Seal Air Leaks
Check around your home’s exterior for gaps between siding and trim, around windows and doors, and where pipes and wires enter the home. Install weather stripping or caulking at these areas, as needed, to prevent drafts, moisture intrusion and wasted energy.
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New Leaf Home Inspections provides home inspection services to all of the counties located in the Triangle area.