Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home

A man rakes up fallen leaves in his yard into a pileThings You Should Do Around the Home This Fall

We love this time of year when the colors change, and the sweltering summer temperatures give way to cool days and even cooler nights. Autumn is not only a beautiful season full of fun family activities—but it is also the perfect time to work on and around the home. Unfortunately, some home maintenance tasks are just too difficult to complete during the hot summer months. Fall is the perfect time to take care of some of these needed chores and to get the home ready for the winter when the days are short and cold. Take a look at some vital home maintenance tasks for the autumn season.

Clean and Repair Gutters

Your gutters and downspouts are integral to keeping your home and the surrounding areas in tip-top shape. If your channels get clogged up or are damaged, it can cause water to overflow in places where it shouldn’t. This misplaced water can damage your siding, flood your basement or crawl space, and cause structural or foundation issues. As the leaves begin to fall, it is even more critical to ensure that the gutters and downspouts have been cleared from the summer season and to inspect them for any damage you need to repair.

Trim and Clean Up Tree Limbs Around the Home

If you have tree limbs hanging over your home's roof or touching your house, you should carefully trim these branches or cut them down completely. Not only will they shed leaves onto your roof and gutters, but they can also fall and damage the home. Tree limbs that touch the roof or siding can also cause immense water damage. The moisture can cause rot or mildew to grow. However, even if you have to pay someone to trim the branches, it is still more cost-efficient than replacing siding or repairing your roof. We also recommend checking all the trees on your property for any dead trees that have the potential to fall and cause any damage to your home or other structures.

Inspect and Clean Fireplace

It would be best to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected before you light your first fire of the season. Debris can cling and stick to the inside of the chimney walls long after you have used the fireplace. This debris, or creosote, can accumulate as you use the fireplace, creating a dangerous situation. It is a flammable substance that can ignite and spread very quickly. You can clean your chimney yourself if you have the tools, or hire a professional to come out and make sure your chimney is clear of all creosote and debris. You can also inspect the chimney and fireplace to ensure that everything is in good working order, giving you no problems throughout the cold seasons.

Get a Furnace Checkup

Having your HVAC system regularly maintained and inspected is always a good idea. Regular maintenance will keep your system running longer and more efficiently. In addition, scheduling an inspection and tune-up before the cold weather will ensure that everything works as it should when it is time to turn the heat on in the home. You don't want to wait until it is below freezing outside to find out that your heating system is not working correctly.

Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

The United States Fire Administration recommends checking your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month and replacing the batteries once a year. In addition, it is recommended to replace your detectors every ten years. Before using space heaters, fireplaces, and the furnace, you should ensure that your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and have fresh batteries for the fall and winter. Also important is ensuring you have smoke alarms on every level of your home. The National Fire Protection Association has some great resources on installing and maintaining your smoke alarms this year.

Check Your Roof

Before the leaves start falling, you should ensure that your roof is in good condition with no damage or leaks. This is especially important if you live in an area where you know you will have snow and ice. A small leak now can cause massive damage down the line. In addition, it will be easier and more inexpensive to repair a damaged roof than it will be to repair a damaged roof AND water damage in your home.

Check Your Home for Gaps and Openings

Before the temperatures get any cooler, you should inspect for gaps or openings that will allow common winter creatures easy access into your warm home. Rodents like mice and rats love to sneak in for a reprieve from the cold, so it is essential to walk around the house and look for any areas that need to be sealed or repaired to keep them out. Not only will you keep the unwanted visitors out, but closing these areas will help keep the cold air out and your heated warm air in the home. Also, when you pay to heat your home during the fall and winter months, you don't want that warm air to leak through unnecessary holes or cracks.

Zippy Shell Can Help You Move This Fall

If you have a move coming up this fall or winter, call Zippy Shell at 888-947-7974 to find out how we can help. We have moving and solutions for almost every situation. Whether you need a mobile storage unit for a lengthy remodeling project or help to move across the country—we can help! So call today for your free, no-obligation estimate!