Home Repair Checklist
Perform Your Own Home Maintenance
As a carpenter I am often called to people’s homes to repair, replace or troubleshoot house-hold problems. Most if not all issues that I deal with are a result of not taking the time to perform periodic maintenance.
The fall season, is a good time make a Home Repair Checklist, give your house a good inspection and get it ready for winter.
Home Maintenance Checklist:
Before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare for the winter months to prevent costly damage later on. Below are the fall preventative home maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.
Gutters and Downspouts
- 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.
- Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
- Check to ensure water drains properly and does not pool, which can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
- Watch out for the 4 gutter Warning signs
Windows and Doors
- Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
- Inspect and repair any loose, damaged window or door frames.
- Watch and address any peeling paint. [Lead Paint issues]
- 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; be sure screws are tight.
- Replace the filter in your furnace.
- Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance this may help you 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.
- New furnace and boiler buying tips
- 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. Its also good to have a plumber install a “ball valve” for this shutoff. Ball valves are superior to knob and washer valves.
Chimney and Fireplace
- Call a professional in to 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.
Attic insulation and ventilation
- Check for adequate insulation and seal air leaks.
- Do you have an attic door or hatch? Insulate Attic hatch
- 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.
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.
- Watch for inspect damage. Treat any Hemlocks for Wooly Adelgid.
Using this Home Repair Checklist will save you time adn costly repairs in the future.