Use these fall home maintenance tips to prepare your home for winter. Inspect your roof, clean your gutters, turn off water to outdoor taps, check the exterior of your house for cracks, and do some fall lawn care.
Also, remember to test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and maintain your furnace.
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Clean your gutters
Clear debris from the gutters so water and melting snow can drain away from the roof and foundation of your home. Cleaning your gutters is easiest in dry weather and all you need is a plastic spatula from your kitchen! It is a good size and will not scratch your gutters. Remember to check downspouts for cracks and make sure they are directed away from your house and walkways.
Turn off the water to the hose
Outside faucets have no protection from the cold and the last thing you need is water freezing in your pipes and causing them to burst. Turn off the water, disconnect the hose, and turn on the tap to drain the remaining water.
Maintain your heating system
Maintaining your furnace and ducts before the heat comes on is an important part of fall home maintenance. Have your furnace inspected and change the filter. Check vents and ducts for buildup of debris and have them cleaned regularly.
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Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
Fall is a good time to make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Change the batteries, test them, and check the expiration dates. Carbon monoxide detectors are good for about six years and smoke detectors last for about 10.
Check your roof
Inspect your roof from the ground with binoculars or from a ladder. Pay extra attention to areas around vents, skylights, and chimneys. Look for missing or damaged shingles and replace them. If there are more than a few, it may be time for a new roof.
Check the outside of your house for cracks
Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks and gaps. Look at windows, doors, and wire and cable entry points. Doing repairs before winter’s freezing and thawing and the spring melt will prevent damage later. Also, look for drafty areas like window and door seals and fill any gaps with caulking to keep the warm air inside.
Water and aerate your lawn
Watering your lawn in the fall will help it endure winter better and water also helps fertilizer soak in. Keep watering your lawn until the ground starts to freeze. Aerating your lawn fixes compacting caused by walking on it and creates space for water, nutrients, and air. You can rent an aerator and do it yourself.
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