Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Fall is almost here and that means it’s time to prepare your home in South Caroline for cooler weather, falling leaves and maybe even some heavy weather. Living near the Atlantic coast through the fall and winter means you may encounter some significant storms, as the east coast hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
Take note of some home maintenance tasks now and be prepared to enjoy autumn worry-free. Most of these recommended tasks homeowners can handle themselves. But even if you hire professional help, it can be worth your expenditures to help make sure your home is ready. Plus, you can save money over time by timely preventive maintenance to stave off costly repairs later.
Clean Out Gutters
Fall means colorful leaves that strike abundant hues of red, yellow, and orange, gently falling all around your beautiful home — and filling your gutters. Blocked and overflowing gutters allow excess water to drain right into your home’s foundation and every other place it should not go.
Be sure to use proper ladder safety and climbing techniques while cleaning out all gutters and downspouts so water can flow freely away. Depending on your property and its amount of nearby trees, you may need to repeat this chore after autumn leaves have finished their celebratory dance to the ground and trees are bare.
Inspect the Roof
While you practice proper ladder safety, take a good close look at your home’s roof. Peeling, loose, broken, or missing shingles or other roofing components allow water intrusion. Water inside means serious damage and serious costs. Replace any damaged or missing shingles, trim, soffit, or other roofing components to seal off your roof from water.
You should also take note of the overall condition of your roof. Any sagging portions should be examined closely from the inside and outside by a roofing professional. Older, worn roofs cannot stand up to severe weather events as well as new roofs, so depending on your roof’s condition, it may be time to replace it.
Seal Up Air Leaks
Air leaks around doors and windows cause your HVAC to work harder to keep your home cool and warm. Temperatures in the south can sometimes dip down fairly low, and keeping your home comfortable can cost more when precious warm air escapes around joints. Sometimes this means adding some weatherstripping around seams and openings.
In older homes, substandard windows and doors or sagging walls and floors can cause air leaks. Seatherstripping can help some, but solving this problem may require more extensive means. New windows and doors can help, along with correcting any problems with slanting floors or wall failures.
Inspect the HVAC
Your HVAC (which, incidentally, stands for heating, ventilation, and cooling) performs important tasks to keep your family comfortable and healthy. Many people forget the “V” in HVAC is just as important as keeping you warm or cool. Keeping your home properly ventilated seals out allergens and other pollutants while allowing the free flow of fresh, conditioned air throughout your home.
Inspect all working parts of your HVAC system, and note any strange noises, odors, frayed or worn wiring, and possible clogged ducts. Clear away any grass clippings or leaves from your outside unit to facilitate the free flow of air. Your HVAC filter should normally be changed monthly, but some systems have other filters that are changed less frequently. A licensed HVAC professional can advise you about any cleaning, repairs, or other issues to keep your system in top condition.
All fireplaces that see use during the fall and winter should be inspected each year before the season begins. This ensures the free flow of smoke out and that no obstructions have happened to present the risk of fires. This inspection should be done by a licensed professional with the proper tools and equipment.
Your fireplaces should also be cleaned thoroughly before the season, in preparation for lighting a warm, relaxing fire on chilly carolina nights. Be sure your fireplace tools are stored handily nearby and keep all wood or other flammables in safe storage places until time to light a fire. Keep children away from fireplaces. It’s always wise to use a screen to prevent hot embers from floating out of the fireplace and into your home.
Check Gas Furnaces
If your home has a gas furnace or any gas appliances, having them checked before autumn’s increased use is always a good idea. A gas professional can test for leaks and repair any problems before they can endanger your home and family. Change filters, clean lines, clean around furnaces, and make sure air can flow freely all around it.
Close Down Pools
Labor Day Weekend is the traditional end of summer, and that means saying a temporary goodbye to your swimming pool. Closing down the pool is a chore that involves many steps, but this preserves your pool and equipment for next season. Storing away pool equipment and shocking the water before installing your pool cover are only part of the job. A good cleaning should be the last step and first step when closing and opening your pool. A local pool professional can also help you by handling these tasks. Sometimes the cost is well worth the time and effort saved.
Review Safety Measures
Any change in seasons is a good time to review your home’s safety measures and plans, but especially before fall when fireplaces will be in use. Check all your home’s safety equipment and be sure everything is in top working order. This should include:
- Gas & Carbon Monoxide Detectors - check their operation and replace all batteries.
- Fire Extinguishers - check their operation and have them recharged if necessary. Be sure all family members know their location and how to use them.
- Escape Routes & Assembly Points - you should have an escape plan in case of fire, especially in multi-story homes, including a set point on the property where everyone gathers once leaving the home.
- Locks - test and lubricate all door and window locks, and replace any that seem worn or stiff.
- Alarm Systems - test your home’s alarm systems, including all windows and doors, any cameras, audible alerts, and connections to the alarm company.
Jeff Cook Real Estate wants everyone to be safe and enjoy their homes in the coming fall and winter seasons. Use this handy checklist to prepare your home for the change in seasons. Are you considering selling your South Carolina home, or possibly moving to South Carolina? Jeff Cook Real Estate has all the resources you need to begin. Contact us today to learn more.