Fall Home Upkeep and Maintenance Tips

Fall Home Upkeep and Maintenance Tips

Fall Home Upkeep and Maintenance Tips

With the arrival of autumn, it's time to brush up on your maintenance to-do list. Here are nine tips to incorporate into your list this season.

Clean Leaves and Dirt Out of Gutters

Your gutters help remove water from your home. But if buildup occurs, your gutters could fail, clog or break. Regularly clearing out the debris can help ensure your gutters keep water away from your home's foundation.

Look for Leaky Seals That Cause Drafts

Check doors and windows to see if you have inefficient air leaks that let in drafts. You can reseal, re-caulk, use weather tape or add weather stripping to doors or windows that prove drafty.

Disconnect Hoses and Turn Off Outdoor Faucets

Frozen pipes are a real possibility when you leave your outside water lines on after the first frost date. It's a good idea to remove all water hoses and drain them as a part of winter preparation.

Fix Driveway Cracks

Water getting into cracks can freeze and expand, increasing the severity of the cracks. Driveway and sidewalk cracks can cause damage to your vehicle or become a tripping hazard. You can use concrete sealer to quickly fill up cracks this fall.

Change Your Air Filters

After the summer pollen, it's a good idea to change out your air filters. Filters can get filled with debris, making airflow inefficient. Replacing your filter can help improve the air quality of your home. To trap the majority of allergens, dust, mold and bacteria, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using a HEPA filter.

Prune Trees and Bushes

Overgrown shrubs and trees can pose a threat to your home. Branches scraping your siding, roof or windows can cause damage to your home. Plus, branches touching your home can offer direct access to bugs and rodents looking for a way in.

Clean the Dryer Vent and Exhaust Duct

Take a look at your dryer vent, exhaust duct and outside vent to avoid a serious fire hazard. Always clean your lint filter before each cycle and check the dryer vent leading outside regularly to ensure it isn't blocked or lined with lint.

Test Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It's important to stay on top of testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors so they are ready in case of an emergency. The National Fire Protection Association says alarms should be replaced after ten years and checked monthly by pressing the button for a test alarm. If you haven't tested your detectors this month, it's time to do so!

Check the House Exterior and Screens

Mice, rats, birds and other animals typically seek shelter as the days get colder. Walk around to inspect your home for possible entry points you need to caulk, cover or repair. Mice can get into cracks the size of a pencil and pose a health threat. Rats can get into cracks or gaps larger than a half inch. Birds often try to nest in exhaust vents or crevices on the exterior of the home. If an animal gets into your home, they can chew wires, leave droppings, introduce bacteria (or bugs) and make a mess.