Autumn Home Maintenance

The value of your home usually increases with inflation over the years, as long as it remains well maintained. Deferred maintenance is a huge detractor from a home’s perceived & actual value. Whether you try to sell or refinance your home, down the road, the appearance of upkeep will show up in dollars.

Here are ten things you can do, this Fall.

1. Remove or Cover Air Conditioning Units. This will cut down on drafts & the potential of leakage from melting snow.

2. Paint Interior Rooms. It’s still warm enough to leave windows open, providing essential ventilation when working with fumes. Also, open windows and a good autumn breeze will help the paint dry quicker.

3. Inspect Furnace. Replace air filters, check belts & clean any parts that require it. If your warranty includes or requires professional HVAC inspection, now is a great time to do it – before a problem should arise.

4. Check Your Safety Equipment. Ensure your fire extinguishers are up to code. Make sure your smoke detectors, fire detectors, and carbon monoxide or radon alarms are in good, working order. Replace the batteries twice a year. I live in an area that has daylight savings time, so I like to use that as my reminder to change batteries. This tip could work for you, too!

5. Clean leaves & debris out of rain gutters. Flush them, if necessary to ensure they are draining properly. I like to point downspouts towards landscaped areas, to deliver the extra water to plants that will use it.

6. Clean & Winterize Landscape Maintenance Equipment. This will ensure that things like rakes and hoes do not rust & preserve the interior of your lawnmower’s engine. Failure to add fuel stabilizer before storing your lawnmower for the winter will lead to extensive maintenance and repair, come spring.

7. Check Doors & Windows. Make sure your airways to the outdoors have proper insulation & weather stripping. Now is the time to make improvements to prevent winter drafts. This will keep your home warmer & keep your energy bill lower.

8. Make Your Sensitive Landscaping Winter-Ready. Water well before the first frost, if the fall has been dry. Add slow-release fertilizer to feed your plants all winter long. You can rake fallen leaves around the base of rose bushes, or add a layer of mulch.

9. Fireproofing Precautions. Ensure that chimneys are not obstructed by things like bird nests and collected leaves. Have your wood burning fireplaces swept once a year. Clean & vacuum out the lint trap in your dryer – even with regular scraping, bits of lint can get caught inside the dryer and start fires.

10. Decorate for the Holiday. Late Fall is a great time to decorate your exterior with Christmas lights, should you choose to do so. You can put them up when it’s not freezing out & not light them until after Thanksgiving.

Just by following these ten simple steps, you can ensure that your home is protected from drafts, leaks, fire, and a host of maintenance problems. Keeping ahead of the problems caused by deferred maintenance will save you time, stress and money, down the road.

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