Let’s face it—summertime is not the best time of the year to work on projects around the house. Not only does the sweltering heat make it miserable outside, but you’d probably rather be spending your time with your grandchildren while they’re out of school and maybe even taking a vacation (or two).
Now that fall is approaching, it’s time to turn your focus to the home maintenance checklist that may have been on your back burner this summer. Be sure your home is ready for cooler weather with this checklist.
- Check windows and doors for gaps or cracks, and seal any leaks with weather stripping and/or caulk. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing leaks around your home can save up to 10 percent on your heating and cooling bill.
- Check your heating system to make sure it will be in tip-top shape when it’s time to turn it on. Whether your heater is gas or electric, it’s a good idea to have it checked by a professional once a year.
- Schedule a chimney sweep to come clean out your fireplace and chimney of any soot or creosote build-up. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, any build-up is dangerous, as it can be flammable and cause serious problems. Birds also like to nest in chimneys, so be sure it’s all clean and clear in there before you light the first logs this winter.
- Inspect sidewalks, outdoor steps and your driveway for any cracks or hazards that may need to be repaired. Small cracks can be a DIY repair, but larger cracks may require professional repairs.
- Check your roof for damaged shingles, leaky vents or corroded flashing. Do this from the ground using binoculars, or call in a pro to climb on your roof and give it a thorough inspection.
- Replace air filters in your vents and clean plates or pads in your humidifier.
- Clean out gutters. Clogged gutters can cause big problems when it rains, so be sure yours are clear of debris and take some time to cover them with mesh guard to keep the leaves out this fall.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries.
- Check the indicator on the pressure gauge of your fire extinguisher to be sure it’s charged. Inspect the nozzle for any dents, scratches or corrosion, and make sure the lock pin is firmly in place.
- Make time for some fall cleaning and clear out any clutter that may have accumulated over the summer. Be sure the space around your heater or furnace is clear of papers and other potential flammables.
Home maintenance projects aren’t always fun, but they are necessary to be sure your home remains a safe, inviting environment for yourself and your loved ones. If you are uncomfortable performing any of these maintenance tasks on your own, call in a professional to help ensure they are done right.