Prep Your Home for the Season with Our Fall Maintenance Checklist
It’s time to prepare your home to withstand winter weather. Follow our fall checklist for must-do repairs and other seasonal maintenance tips.
Your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls, so it’s vital to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, clean your gutters, then cover them with mesh gutter guards to keep debris from returning.
A home with air leaks around windows and doors is like a coat left unbuttoned. Gaps in caulk and weatherstripping let cold air into your warm home, and sealing up a drafty house can save up to 20% on your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Weatherstripping is the most cost-effective way to rein in heating and cooling costs. This humble material also reduces drafts and keeps your home more comfortable year-round.
Few homeowner problems are more vexing than a leaky roof. Once the dripping starts, finding the source of the problem can be time-consuming. Stop problems this fall before ice and winter winds turn them from annoyances into disasters.
Editor’s Tip: Roof-mounted television antennas, even if they aren’t in use, may have guy wires holding them in place. Look for loose or missing guy wires. If you see some and your antenna is no longer being used, consider having it removed altogether.
If you live in an area with freezing weather, ensure that outside faucets (also called sill cocks) and in-ground irrigation systems don’t freeze and burst. First, close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. (There may be a small cap on the faucet you can loosen to facilitate this draining.) If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freeze-proof ” types, you might benefit from styrofoam faucet covers ($3, Lowes), which are sold at many home centers.
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