Feel that crisp in the air lately? That’s a pretty good signal that fall season is on its way. Makes me a little sad because I love being on my boat when it’s warm outside. Fall is crunch-time for getting your home prepared before winter quickly approaches, daylight is shortened, and the snow flies. Be sure to tackle those home maintenance and home improvement projects before it’s too late.
Why is home maintenance important?
Owning a home is very different than renting — and it comes with a steady list of to-do’s to keep it strong and secure. If you have purchased a Holmes Approved Home, congratulations! Your home is built right from the ground up. Now it’s up to you to maintain it.
I hear from a lot of homeowners who are overwhelmed with their home maintenance, and I get how daunting it can be. But when you arm yourself with a little bit of knowledge on how to keep your home in good shape, you’ve already won half the battle.
Your Fall Maintenance Checklist
Here’s my fall home maintenance checklist, it’s something I like to work from when getting my home prepared for cold winter days before the leaves have fallen clean.
☐ Replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (if needed)
☐ Test and dust all CO detectors and smoke alarms
☐ Check fire extinguishers – this should be done monthly
☐ Replace flashlight batteries (if needed)
MECHANICS & SYSTEMS
☐ Replace furnace filter. I recommend doing this every three months, and once a month during cold weather months.
☐ Check your furnace before cold season; schedule repairs, if needed
☐ Check and clean humidifier
☐ Clean dryer vents
☐ Insulate exposed pipes or pipes that pass through cold zones
☐ Schedule a maintenance and/or energy efficiency inspection
☐ Check water heater for leaks—schedule inspection if older than 5 years (if haven’t already done so)
☐ Clean Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) – if you have one installed
INTERIOR MAINTENANCE TIPS
☐ Address surface mould – do not use bleach to clean
☐ Test kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans
☐ Clean kitchen exhaust hood and filter
☐ Vacuum refrigerator coils
☐ Install weather stripping on windows before the temperatures drop
☐ Check foundation for cracks and leaks. I recommend doing this before spring season and the winter season. Water is your home’s #1 enemy, you don’t want to let moisture seep in through your exterior walls.
☐ Clean gutters and eavestroughs and schedule repairs, if needed. When water gets stuck because debris and other gunk jams them up, it can freeze causing ice damming all along your roof line.
☐ Inspect exterior caulking on windows and doors for shrinkage or cracking—re-caulk as needed
☐ Have your trees trimmed to remove any dead, weak or snapped branches or limbs
☐ Shut off exterior water faucets before the temperature dips below freezing
☐ Inspect your roof for signs of damage. You should be looking out for red flags such as shingles buckling, asphalt granules in your gutters or bare spots.
☐ Seal gaps, cracks or openings where pests and critters can enter
ROOF & ATTIC
☐ Check roof for any damage (cracked, curled or missing shingles) —schedule reroofing if needed
☐ Check attic for insufficient insulation or blocked soffits/venting
Ready to winterize your home? Here are 10 tasks that need to be on your winter home maintenance checklist.