Tips to keep your home well maintained
As a carpenter I am often called to peoples homes to repair, replace or troubleshoot house problems. Most if not all issues that I deal with are a result of not taking the time to perform periodic maintenance. These people need my home maintenance checklist.
The fall season, is a good time to give your house a good inspection and get it ready for winter. Before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare and prevent costly damage later on.
Below is a home maintenance checklist that every homeowner can adapt and use:
Home Maintenance Checklist
Gutters and Downspouts:
1. Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris.
- Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations, wet basements, foundation damage and many other expensive complications.
- Ensure that water is not getting behind gutters and also check the gutter support brackets.
- Check to ensure water drains properly and does not pool, which can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Windows and Doors:
- Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
- Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
- Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.
- Clean and lubricate garage door hinges, rollers, and tracks and be sure screws are tight.
- Install storm panels and store screens.
Replace the filter in your furnace.Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
- Clean your ducts / fins to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.
- Check for air leakage especially around joints.
- Lubricate hot water heaters pump and motor.
- Bleed air from radiators or convectors.
- Change batteries and set your programmable thermostat
- To prevent pipes freezing and bursting; ensure that the pipes, as well as the wall cavities where they reside, are well insulated.
- Be sure that you know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze. Label this shut off for family members.
- Have a plumber install a “ball valve” for this shutoff. Ball valves are superior to knob and washer valves.
- Shut off water to exterior faucets.
Chimney and Fireplace:
- Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney.
- Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
- Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.Consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm near the fireplace and furnace.
- Change smoke detector batteries.
- Find A Roof Leak
- Prevent Roof leak
- Be sure attic insulation does not cover ventilation vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
- Be sure ridge vents and vents at eaves are free of plants and debris.
- Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.
- Add insulation and seal air leaks. Click here to see my many posts on insulation and air leaks.
Landscape and Yard Work:
- Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall; the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
- Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth in the spring.
- Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.
- Remove and store garden hoses.
- Drain exterior fountains, remove pump and store indoors and cover fountain.
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