Fall Maintenance Tips
Fall is the ideal time to take advantage of the moderate weather to attend to any maintenance or repairs on your properties before the cold Minnesota weather begins.
Here are is a quick overview of things to check:
- Exterior Maintenance: Check your foundation. Any place masonry meets siding and pipes or wiring enter the house could be an opening that needs to be sealed. Openings left unsealed may allow water to get in which may cause cracking if freezing and refreezing occurs. Unattended water can also promote mold growth over time. Check around windows and door frames; make sure they are sealed properly to prevent heat from escaping this winter.
- Check your roof for any missing or loose shingles. If your roof is not functioning properly water damage can occur. Water can cause deterioration to insulation, wood or drywall and can potentially create vulnerable situations for your electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. It is better (and less expensive) to be proactive with repairs in the Fall than to discover a leaking roof during a snow storm this winter!
- Peeling paint – it’s a sign that the last paint job is no longer protecting your home. Left uncorrected, your siding will deteriorate over time leading to expensive repairs.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts – inspect joints, tighten brackets. Clogged gutters can create all kinds of trouble for your home. Check out How-To on Cleaning Your Gutters.
- Check the weather-stripping on your garage door. Properly installed weather stripping will prevent drafts in addition to keeping water, leaves and small critters outside where they belong.
- Drain your garden hoses and shut off outdoor water valves. Turn off outside water spigots – blow out sprinkler systems. Any water left in exterior pipes and faucets can freeze and potentially break pipes.
- Prepare your wood stove and fireplace for Fall and Winter use. A clogged chimney is a fire risk. Check the exhaust pipe on your wood stove to make sure it is clear and move any flammable objects that may be too close for comfort during warm winter fires.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans – creating an upward draft redistributes the warm air up at ceiling level. During winter months, your fan should run clockwise at a low speed. The movement will draw the air in the room up to the ceiling and push the warm air down to you.
- Test your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Make sure you change batteries twice per year. I always recommend changing batteries when you set clocks back in the Fall and ahead in the Spring.
- Check your furnace filters and change them regularly. The filter keeps the air in your home clean and safe. Many factors determine how often you should change your filter depends on what kind of filters you use and your lifestyle. Since you are giving your home and property a Fall check-up, go ahead and schedule a professional to come in and inspect your furnace.