Fall Home Maintenance Tips
By Emily Davis
Below is a list of items you can do this fall to ensure your home is ready for the winter season.
Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters.
If they’re clogged, you can end up with a flooded interior and damaged exterior. So clean them, and if necessary, replace them.
The national average for cleaning gutters is $157 or between $118 and $225. Single-story homes may cost between $70 and $200. Two-story homes range between $90 and $225 per job. Three or more stories may cost an additional $75 to $200 per service.
Replacing gutters can cost $4 to $30 per linear foot, which is how most projects are priced. This range depends on the materials used, such as aluminum or high-end copper. Most gutter replacement projects cost between $1,600 to $2,175. Installing new gutters is an important step in your home’s overall health.
Check for drafts.
Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because weatherstripping is simple and probably the most cost-effective way to keep heating costs down.
Pro tip: To check if you have a draft issue, close a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, you need to update your weatherstripping.
Drain your outdoor faucets.
Drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside spigots to prevent any water freezing. Not doing this can result to pipes bursting.
Bring your outdoor furniture in.
If you don’t have anywhere to store the items, you should cover it in a waterproof furniture cover.
Fix any cracks in your driveway.
When water gets into cracks it freezes, expands, and can make the crack even bigger. Enough small cracks can turn into big cracks, and eventually the concrete can crumble. Using concrete crack sealer, fill it up and be done with it.
Change your filters.
Another thing in your house that might be costing you more money then it should be. If your filters are clogged, it’s harder to keep your home at the temperature you want it too be which will increase your heating bills. Clean these filters monthly, not just before the fall, and thank me later.
FYI: Disposable filters can be vacuumed one time before you replace it, and foam filters can just be vacuumed and not replaced.
Remove the plastic from the filter—don’t remove the cardboard framing.
Find the airflow arrow and point it toward the AC/heating blower.
Insert the filter into its slot [central unit].
Insert the filter into its slot [wall unit]
Fertilize your lawn.
If you want to keep your lawn looking great in the spring and summer, you need to prep it for the fall and winter. Roots are still active when the grass isn’t growing, so applying fertilizer will prevent winter damage. Doing this will also help your lawn turn green faster in the spring, which is crucial.
Test winter equipment.
Change your batteries.
Once a year you should be checking to make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices are working.