Fall home maintenance tips – The Post-Searchlight

Tips for home maintenance in the fall

Posted at 9:49 am on Wednesday, October 19, 2022

With cooler temperatures fast approaching, now is the perfect time to do a home maintenance check to confirm that your home is in good shape for the winter months ahead. Regular maintenance and upkeep of your home can help increase the quality and life of your home. A few simple steps can keep your home efficient and save you money in the long run.

Start by doing a good check-up of the exterior of your home. To do this, inspect all wooden frames for signs of rats, bats, cockroaches, termites, squirrels, mice and other pests. Contact a professional if necessary to treat and get rid of them. Also check and replace rotting wood or damaged trim, especially around doors and windows. Make sure your doors and windows are working properly and that the weather stripping and caulking around them is in good condition. Take the time to repair or replace cracked or broken windows. These are great tips for saving money.

It is important to clean gutters and downspouts making sure they drain water 2-3 feet away from the house. Check the flashing around the chimney, plumbing vents, skylights and other joints to make sure they are securely fastened; repair as needed. Be sure to examine the roof surface, shingles, eaves and soffits and make any necessary repairs. Inspecting the attic for signs of leaks and pests is also a good idea. It makes sense to check that the attic insulation is sufficient and that the vent and duct connections are free of debris and working properly, allowing fans to exhaust to the outdoors.

To help improve the air quality inside your home, replace the air filters in your HVAC system. Dust ceiling fan blades and rotate fan clockwise during fall/winter to circulate warmer air. Hire a professional to adjust the heating and air conditioning system. If you use window air conditioners, now is the time to consider covering them and sealing the openings. Don’t forget to check the fireplace log and clean the chimney, or find a professional to do it for you.

The cooler fall weather makes it easier to be outdoors and work in the yard. This is a good time to remove dead plants and shrubs from the house and prune tree branches that overhang the roof. Not only does this help prevent moisture buildup, but it’s also a safety measure in the event of hurricanes, tornadoes, or other severe storms. Use this time to inspect fences and decks for wood rot; clean, repair, reseal and repaint as needed.

Always make your home safety a priority by making sure you have a fully charged fire extinguisher or buy one if needed. Change all batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. As it’s storm season, it’s a good idea to update your home emergency plan and make sure everyone in the family knows what to do in an emergency.

Although these tasks may seem a bit daunting, they actually only take a few hours. Using these guidelines can help you get your home in top condition for storm season.

For a complete home maintenance checklist, please contact the Decatur County Extension Office at 248-3033.

Robert M. Larson