As we begin to make our homes festive for the holidays, now is also a great time to take care of the not so fun household items: Fall and Winter home maintenance. According to the 2021 State of Home Spending Report, the average American homeowner spends $3,018 annually for upkeep and repairs around the house, and that does not include emergency repairs. Follow our Fall and Winter maintenance checklist to keep your house in peak condition during the colder months and prevent costly repairs down the road.
Clean gutters and downspouts. As leaves fall during the autumn season, they will likely land in your gutters and make their way into the downspouts. It is important to check your gutters and downspouts before the winter season to make sure they are clear of leaves and debris. Clogged gutters and downspouts prevent the flow of water and can cause wood rot and pest infestations, which will likely result in the need for additional repairs.
Inspect your roof. It is recommended to have your roof inspected at least annually, but preferably twice a year, to make sure there isn’t any damage – especially after hurricane season. Spotting issues like damaged or missing shingles will prevent extensive damage and expensive repairs in the future.
Seal the gaps. To help your home’s insulation, you’ll want to check the windows and doors for any gaps or cracks. This can easily be done by moving your hand around the frame to check for any drafts of air. Applying fresh weatherstripping around the frames and caulk to any open gaps will majorly cut down on energy costs. While you’re at it, check the garage door to make sure there are no drafts of air coming in around the frame. If you see a gap or feel a draft of air, this indicates the weatherstripping should be replaced.
Check hand-railings for safety. Make navigating around your home safer by checking to make sure all porch and deck railings are sturdy and in good shape. If you live in a climate that gets ice and snow, you and your guests will need something sturdy to hold onto when the grounds become icy and slippery. While wintery weather isn’t something we normally see in Charleston, this might not be something that is often considered so add this to your maintenance checklist to ensure your railings stay in tip-top shape year round.
Service your furnace. To ensure your heating system runs smoothly throughout the colder winter months, have a professional come out to service your furnace. Your technician will check the insulation around the connecting pipes to ensure your system won’t be overworking and make sure the rest of your system is prepared for winter. Be sure to also change your air filter every month or two to keep your system in working order and remove impurities from the air.
Inspect your fireplace and chimney. Now that the weather is cooling down and the winter months lie ahead, you’ll want to have your fireplace in working order in time for your first fire of the season. It’s important to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected annually for safety. This cleaning will help remove blockages and built-up creosote from different parts of your chimney. If you haven’t used your fireplace in a while, pests may have built nests that could also clog the airways.
Check your detectors. Even if your smoke detector is in good working order, it is a smart idea to change the batteries before you turn on your heat and fireplace. Nearly 50,000 fires are caused every year due to heating systems, so waste no time in completing this easy, do-it-yourself task that can help prevent a tragedy.
It will serve your peace of mind to take care of these maintenance items if you’re thinking of selling your home. Or, if you need expert recommendations, our William Means agents will be happy to assist you.
Source: Angie’s List