The air is cooler, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Can only mean one thing. Falls upon us. As fall is falling, it’s that time of year to keep, or actually get your house in tip-top shape before the seasons really start setting in. This is something that any homeowner should do not only because it’s the right thing to do, but it’ll make you a more responsible homeowner in the process and hopefully save you on some more major bills a little later down the line. But why do you have to do it? Most of them are small things and tend to go over looked or simply underestimated, but if you don’t get them done they could cost you money later, but they could also lead to a safety hazard that could cost you a lot more than that. So before that first big storm comes rolling in, make some time to get these home maintenance tips done.
Home Maintenance Tip #1 – Get rid of the dead tree limbs
If you have tree’s around your home, as most do, take some time and inspect it for any dead or strained branches that are carrying too much of a load. Fall and winter storms can wreak havoc on these types of limbs. Most times, when they are load bearing, they can cause real damage, tearing up roofs, damaging cars, or heaven forbid falling on someone. Get them out of there before they become a problem but be careful. If the limbs are too high or maybe just too big or you just don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional. Tree trimming is not that expensive in the overall scheme of things and you can typically get a large tree all trimmed up and looking great again for under a couple hundred bucks.
Home Maintenance Tip #2 – If your roof leaks, get it fixed
Since we mentioned tree limbs falling on your roof just above we’ll keep going along those lines. If your roof leaks, get it fixed. One of the top causes for interior ceiling and wall leaks or problems is simply missing or rotting shingles or flashing. These can be a little tricky to get done, and if you’re like me, I don’t like to be on the roof anyways, have someone do it for you. You’ll probably need this anyway so the best thing to do is just get someone to give you a roof inspection and make your judgment from there.
Home Maintenance Tip #3 – Clean your gutters and downspouts
Staying along the roof line, while your there, you might as well clean up your gutters and downspouts. Get up there and get all the debris and fallen leaves out of there to unclog those gutters. Clogged gutters can cause you more problems than you may know. Combine a clogged gutter with ice or water and you may be in for a headache facing problems like roof leaks, foundation flooding or structural damages. There not hard to get clean, just get up there on your ladder with a good pair of gloves and possibly a trowel and just start digging them out. Make sure they are clean and free flowing when your through. While you’re there, make sure that they aren’t starting to pull away from the flashing. If they are, get them tight again. While you’re at it, make sure that downspout is taking water away from the foundation and not puddling up next to it.
Home Maintenance Tip #4 – Make any other outdoor repairs that are necessary
Sticking with the outdoor theme here, while your outside give your house and surrounding area a thorough once over. If you’ve got uneven or loose steps, cracked walkways or maybe loose handrails, get them corrected. These are potentially dangerous hazards that should be corrected. You don’t want guests or even worse, yourself, to sustain an injury due to any of these situations. Yeah, all these corrections may be a little expensive to take in all at once, but do it as you can just make sure you get them all done. When it comes to someone’s safety versus a few bucks at a time, there’s really no comparison.
Now, let’s move on inside for a few home maintenance tips for the fall.
Home Maintenance Tip #5 – Clean your dryer vents
Uh-oh, how many of you can honestly say that this is something that you do regularly, like say even bi-annually? Well, don’t forget, these things are dangerous! If you get a lint buildup it could cause a couple of different problems. One, it’s going to block the airflow and not let your dryer work very efficiently and two, it can become a pretty dangerous fire hazard in your home. It’s recommended that twice a year, you disconnect everything and vacuum out the dryer duct. Fall and spring are great times for this.
Home Maintenance Tip #6 – Vacuum the refrigerator coils
As long as you’ve got the vacuum out, take it to the fridge and clean those coils. This will help your refrigerator to run quite a bit more effeciently. Take that long skinny attachment that’s pretty much standard with any vacuum cleaner these days and hook it up. Take off the coil cover on the fridge and get down there and clean it all out. Use that long attachment to get all the way to the back of the coils.
Home Maintenance Tip #7 – Get a chimney inspection
One of the last things you could do to make your home a safe and secure place this fall is to get your chimney inspected for any problems. Who knows what’s happened to it since the last time you used it way earlier in the year. You might of had some small critters build a few nests and make your chimney a home. There may be some fallen debris that’s built up in there or there may be just an overload of creosote from last seasons chimney fires. Whatever it is, these can become a safety and fire hazard that you don’t really want to be dealing with when winter really sets in and it’s time to light the fires. Chimney’s can be tricky, and a dirty, so again I’d recommend hiring a professional to do the dirty work and get it right.
There you have it, 7 routine home maintenance tips for responsible homeowners to take care of their homes this fall.