No matter where you live, seasonal changes are a good reminder to tend to your home.
What you can do now to prevent repairs later, performing these important maintenance tasks can prevent costly repairs and alert you to developing problems.
Yard & Exterior
• Make sure to assess the water drainage in order to see that it flows away from the residence.
• Clean all of the downspouts as well as the gutters.
• Check the whole area of the yard to evaluate whether there are any fall, trip, choking, and sharp-edge hazards. If there are, be sure to remove them from the yard.
• If you have a pool on the property, make sure to maintain the fence around the pool so that it is intact.
• Assess the exterior of the house to see whether there are signs of pests in or around it, pests like roaches, rats, termites, or bats. If there are, an exterminator should be called asap.
• Sanitize the window wells and evaluate the drainage.
Exterior Roof, Walls, Windows
• Evaluate to see whether the shingles on the roof are in good condition.
• Assess the valley, chimney, and the plumbing vent, and also the skylight flashing.
• Check to see that the gutters emit water away from your home.
• Assess the attic to see if it has any indications of the roof leaking.
• See if any paint is peeling on the outside of the house.
• In the area where the deck is connected to the residence, see if there are any indications of leaks.
• To see if the flashing of the home is intact, be sure to check the bottom of the doors and windows.
• Evaluate the home’s door and window sills to determine if leaks are present.
• If the dryer vent needs cleaning, attend to it.
• Determine if the exhaust ducts are clear. If not, then clear them.
Yard & Exterior
• Disconnect hoses from outside faucets. This keeps water inside the hose from freezing and splitting the casing, and it also allows the pipes inside the wall to drain completely so that water doesn’t freeze and crack them.
• Seal coat blacktop driveways. The heat of summer may cause asphalt to expand and crack. If these cracks aren’t repaired, water gets into them and freezes, widening the cracks.
• Clean your gutters (yes, this is a job to do in BOTH spring and fall). In the Midwest, this task is especially crucial because of freezing and thawing. If your gutters are clogged with debris, standing water freezes and forces its way up under the roof shingles or into the eaves, which introduces moisture that can eventually rot the roof decking. Trapped ice and frozen debris can also bend your gutters so that they don’t drain well, or even pull them away from the house.
• Schedule your annual furnace checkup. Ask questions and making sure the contractor is checking fuel connections, burner combustion, and the heat exchanger. Also, you should be checking your furnace filters monthly and changing them whenever they’re dirty. You may want to enroll in a yearly maintenance agreement with BPI Environmental that includes a fall furnace service and a spring air conditioning service.
• You don’t need to prepare your outside air conditioning unit for cold weather because it’s designed to withstand snow and cold. In fact, if you cover your unit with plastic to protect it, you provide a place for mice to overwinter and gnaw through the unit’s wiring.
• Make sure deck and porch boards are secure. Loose or warped boards are hazardous. Prop up low spots with wooden shims and fasten loose boards with galvanized deck screws
• Insulate your whole-house fan. If you use a whole-house fan to help cool your house, be sure to cover it when not in use with an insulated box or other cover. If you don’t, heated air—which you’ve paid for—will enter the attic. Introducing warm, moist air into the attic will then cause frost to form on the cold surface of the roof decking, which melts and drips onto the attic floor—your ceiling, in other words. Mold and staining can result.