15 Fall Home Maintenance Items You Don't Want To Forget
by Anna Varnell
on Monday, September 19th, 2022 at 12:24pm.
We are just a few days away from the first day of fall which starts Thursday, September 22nd! While the temperature won’t immediately change, we have begun to feel some cooler mornings lately which makes now prime time to prepare your house for the new season. Regular home maintenance is important not only to help prevent damage which can potentially cause major home expenses, but also creates far less projects for you if/when you decide to sell your home.
We put together a fall home maintenance list to get started on to help keep your home in tip top shape!
1. Clean gutters
The leaves haven’t quite started to fall just yet, but it seems like once they start they just don’t stop! Keeping your gutters clean and clear is very important as leaves and debris can trap moisture against your home. This can cause damage to your gutters, growth, or rot to your home.
2. Inspect and secure downspouts
Along with the gutters, make sure the downspouts are secure and clear of debris. What good are the gutters if the water doesn’t have a place to go, right? This is also a good time to make sure the downspouts are leading the water away from your home. You may need to redirect the direction of the downspout or add an extender to the bottom so that water does not pool at the foundation of your home.
3. Check smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
Always, always, always inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We are entering a season where heaters will be turned on and fires will be lit for warmth. This is prime time for house fires or gas leaks. Always inspect your detectors, make sure they have fresh batteries and are functioning properly.
4. Change your air filter
The average household should change its air filter every 90 days. This is your reminder to change yours.
5. Aerate the soil
Fall is the time to prepare your lawn by aerating the soil. The purpose of aeration is to help the roots of your grass grow deeper to produce a stronger and healthier lawn. If you’re looking to have a beautiful lawn come next spring, now is the time to put in the work. To understand more about the importance of aeration, click here.
6. Inspect fireplace & Chimney
If you have a fireplace in your home, regardless of if you have a wood-burning, gas, or electric fireplace, always have it inspected before use. It’s important to make sure your chimney is free of debris or critters that can create a nest in there as well as inspect any gas lines, glass, gas ignition, etc. to make sure everything is functioning properly.
7. Inspect HVAC & gas lines
As mentioned before, cooler weather is coming which means warming up the inside of your home. Be sure to have your HVAC to buy a professional to make sure your unit is ready for the cooler temperatures. If your home has a gas line of any sort, it is best to have it inspected to ensure there are no leaks. Gas leaks can be dangerous as they are hard to detect. Make sure your lines are inspected as well as those carbon monoxide detectors.
8. Inspect windows/seal leaks
Fall is a great time to inspect your windows. Check the window wells, look for gaps or leaks, and don’t forget to check to locks as well. Not only is it not fun when the cold air gets inside, but you’re also paying for it as you’re losing heat.
9. Inspect your doors & weather strips
Just as leaks cause an issue on windows, don’t forget to check your doors as well! Inspect your exterior doors for openings or drafts of air. You may need to add a weather strip or caulk to seal the gap.
10. Inspect roof
While you’re cleaning out your gutters, take the time to inspect your roof. Give it a good clean to make sure there are limbs or debris sitting on your roof. Also be mindful of any soft spots, damaged shingles, any growth, damaged or worn boots around vents, and rust or cracked caulk on the flashing.
11. Trim tree limbs
The best time to trim your tree limbs is before the leaves start to fall. This just means fewer leaves to clean up, right? In all seriousness, there are tree limbs that look as though they aren’t healthy, now is a great time to take care of those. You do not want a tree limb falling on your home or any of your property While we tend to not get heavy snow in Chattanooga, we do get some cold temperatures which can cause freezing. This can add additional weight and if your trees aren’t healthy, it creates a liability.
12. Fertilize in the fall
Oddly enough, spring is not the best time to fertilize your lawn. Fall is actually the best time to prepare your lawn so that it will be ready to shine come spring. Apply fall lawn fertilizer 2 to 3 weeks before the ground freezes. To find an exact date, look for the first frost date in your area. That date is typically a good time to fertilize since the ground hasn't frozen yet.
13. Drain your faucets & hoses
When you notice the temperatures getting cold, particularly during the night, it is time to drain your hoses and winterize your faucets. Make sure all excess water in your hoses is drained and store them inside – a garage or storage building usually will do. Also, be sure to cover any exterior faucets. You can find faucet covers at most major brand stores or local hardware stores.
14. Fix any cracks in your driveway and sidewalks
It may be tedious, but it is definitely worth it. In cold temperatures, the pavement contracts, and cracks open to their widest point. In hot temperatures, the pavement expands and closes the cracks. This is why spring and fall are considered the optimal time for crack repair.
15. Change the direction of your ceiling fan
When the weather decides to remain cool (if you live in Chattanooga you know what I’m talking about) and the heater is officially on, don’t forget to change the direction of your ceiling fans. Your fan direction in winter needs to be clockwise to create an updraft and circulate warm air around the room.