Outside Maintenance Tips:
• Inspect gutters and downspouts; accumulated leaves can lead to ice buildup over winter and improper drainage.
• Patch damaged sidewalks, driveways, porches and steps.
• Inspect the roof for damaged or missing tiles and seal around flashing if necessary.
• Flush out sprinkler systems, shut off faucet valves (if applicable) or cover faucets with Styrofoam caps and store away garden hoses. Never leave garden hoses attached during freezes.
• Prune trees and shrubs and eliminate any dead branches present.
• Rake leaves.
• Service your lawn equipment and prepare to store for winter. Also, prepare your snow blower for winter use with an oil change, and inspect the mechanical parts.
• Fall is an ideal time to aerate and fertilize your lawn to allow moisture and nutrients to reach the roots over winter months.
• Check windows and doors for leaks, and caulk or install weather stripping where needed.
• Remove window screens and replace with storm windows (if applicable). Make sure you label screens to make them easier to replace in the spring.
• Clean and store patio furniture, or cover pieces that you intend to leave outside.
• Inspect window wells, vents and ducts, and clean out any debris.
• Cover air conditioning units.
Inside Maintenance Tips:
• Check your sump pump to ensure it is working properly, and check for wet spots or puddles in the basement or crawlspace.
• Check for leaks in the humidifier, water heater, and drain if you haven’t lately.
• Check clothes dryer vents and ducts, and get rid of any lint present.
• Inspect bathrooms and kitchen for any needed caulk or grout repairs.
• Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries if needed. Also, check fire extinguisher inspection or expiration dates and make sure they are current.
• Inspect the attic to ensure there is proper insulation, and verify you don’t have any unwanted guests living up there!
• Bleed radiators if you have hot water heat (do not do this when system is in use).
• Have chimney cleaned if you have a wood fireplace.
• Clean or replace furnace filter.
• Have a professional inspect your heating system and gas fireplace.
• Clean refrigerator coils.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For a small investment of money and time, you can prevent major repairs and enhance the safety of your home.