By Sunshine Menefee
Thankfully, cooler days are right around the corner and it’s time to focus on getting the house ready for the season change. This month’s maintenance looks at exterior issues and making sure your home is safe and sound for the upcoming weather. But don’t worry, you’ll be done and enjoying some cool fall afternoons in no time.
1. Service the A/C
If you live north of the Mason/Dixon, you’ll most likely want to start turning the heater on later this month. Before you do, call in a professional to have the system checked for leaks as well as making sure the thermostat, switches and burners are in good working condition. Change out the filters, too. If you have a window unit, remove it or cover with protective insulation.
2. Inspect the Roof
Winter storms will soon be upon us. Take the time now to inspect the room for missing or damaged shingles. Also check seals around exterior vents to prevent future leaks. While you’re up there, take a good look at the chimney, which is the biggest leaker. Repair any missing mortar and replace damaged flashing. Make sure the cap is secure to prevent stray rodents from entering and protect the roof from embers.
3. Clean the fireplace
You’ll be cozying up in front of the fireplace in no time, but make sure it’s safe and ready to go. Call a Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweep. He will inspect it inside and out as well as clean it.
4. Round up the firewood
Once your fireplace has been inspected, make sure to stock up on firewood. Keep the wood pile away from the house since it attracts rodents. Stacking it neatly also helps prevent it from falling over and becoming hazardous. Cover it with tarp to keep the wood ready to go.
5. Add weather-stripping and caulk
Check all doors and windows for leaks. Replace worn out weather-stripping to keep warm air in and cold drafts out. Remove old caulking from Windows and replace.
6. Clean the gutters
Remove all those leaves from the gutter to prevent overload. Inspect gutters for any loose connections or leaking and get them fixed.
7. Reverse ceiling fans
Now is the time to change the direction of ceiling fans. Warm air rises and needs to be redistributed and pushed away from the ceiling. Take the time to clean the blades with a wet rag while you’re up there.
8. Clean and store lawn equipment
Don’t leave lawn equipment in the shed after the last use. Give it a good cleaning, removing any dirt and built-up lawn clippings. Empty the fuel from any gas-powered tools. Pull out and organize the snow clearing equipment before the first snowfall.
9. Ready the deck
Sadly, it’s time to put away or cover deck furniture and grills. Inspect the deck for any needed repairs. Now is the time to clean the deck while all the furniture is gone. Empty soil from planters and store them.
Once you’ve completed your home maintenance, sit back and relax with a cup of warm apple cider and enjoy the first crisp, cool air of the season.
Did we forget something? Let us know by leaving a comment.