Fall is a great time to take care of regular home maintenance tasks before winter weather and shorter days make outdoor work too difficult to tackle. Take care of these seven items and you can rest assured that your home is prepared for winter.
1. Trim Trees and Shrubs. Trimming shrubs in the fall insures that they will maintain their shape through the winter months. If you have large trees or trees that need extensive trimming, consider hiring an arborist.
2. Clean Gutters and Downspouts. After most of the leaves have fallen, remember to clean out your gutters and downspouts. Gutters that get blocked can cause water to pool and ice to dam, which can cause serious damage to your gutters and roof.
3. Add Weatherstripping. Adding weatherstripping to doors and windows will block cold winter air from entering your home and cold air from leaking out.
4. Check Safety Devices. Check smoke detectors, the expiration dates on fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if needed and make sure the entire family know the plan in case of an emergency.
5. Clean Dryer Vents. Lint buildup in your dryer vent can cause your dryer to work less efficiently. Worse, it can even cause a fire. You can hire a specialist to vacuum the vents out, or do it yourself, if you feel comfortable.
6. Schedule a Chimney Cleaning. Nesting birds and other critters can cause debris to drop into your chimney. Have your chimney swept and inspected before your first fire of the season to make sure everything is in good shape.
7. Seal Gaps. Mice only need a gap the size of a dime to enter your home! Walk around the exterior of your home looking for gaps and cracks that could allow pests to enter. Block the gaps with caulk or sealant to prevent unwanted house guests.
If you have considered selling your home, the fall might be the best time to do so. Home values are still at record highs and interest rates are near record lows. If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, please contact us for your complimentary home valuation so you will know what your home is worth in the current market.