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Fall Home Maintenance Tips to make Your House Ready for Winter

September 30th, 2010 · No Comments

As we see the fall season is coming with shorter days and falling leaves, it’s time to get your home ready for the winter. Fall home care involves more than raking leaves and storing garden furniture/equipment. It requires attention to your roof and gutters, your foundation, faucets and windows, and even your ceiling fans.

Even though we are still enjoying nice weather and winter seems far away, now is a great time to begin preparing. If you do a bit at a time before winter hits the tasks are not at all overwhelming.

Long winter can be hard on some houses, so here are some tips to prepare your home for the increased cold and moisture.Some of things I already done for my house There are things that most homeowners don’t even think of that can make a huge difference.

The following are some tips to make sure you’re ready for the winter months, thses all tips not only good for house but also save you money on heating cost.

During the fall season, before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare for the winter months to help prevent costly damage later on. Below are fall preventative home maintenance tips that every homeowner should follow.

Here are things to do inside home:

1.    Air Vents-Make sure that your dryer and all other (intake, exhaust and forced air) fans vents are working

2.    Range hood filters-Check and clean range hood filters on a monthly basis

3.    Nightlights– Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs

4.    Heating Sytem:- Have a heating professional check your heating system (furnace) every year

5.    Pilot Light-Turn ON gas furnace pilot light.

6.    Humidifier-Clean humidifier, if one is used.

7.    Door locks- Check all window and door locks for proper operation

8.    Water leaks– Water leaks can happen anywhere in the house, but they occur most frequently in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms.

9.    .Frozen pipes-Insulate your water pipes with foam sleeve.This will save more money

10.  Fire escape Plan– Check your fire escape plan with your family.

11.  Showers and bathtubs – Discoloration or soft areas around floors and walls near showers or bathtubs may be your first indication there is a leak. Check caulking at joints where the walls meet the floor or the bathtub, looking for cracks or mold. If either is found, clean and remove loose material and apply new sealant. If the shower walls or floor are tiled, a leak may develop if there are cracks or missing areas of grout.

12.  Sinks – Check under the sink for signs of leaks from water supply lines or drainpipes.

13.  Toilets – Placing inappropriate objects or too much toilet paper in the bowl can accidentally clog toilets, especially low-flow toilets now required in homes. Hanging bowl deodorants are frequently the culprits. These objects can lodge deep in the plumbing system, and can block the line or create an obstruction that grease and other materials can cling to – eventually causing blockage. In addition, some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode some of the internal components, eventually leading to a leak.

14.  Washing Machine – Inspect washing machine hoses regularly for wetness around hose ends and signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Replace the hose if a problem is found or every three to five years as part of a proactive maintenance program.

15.  Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms– Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Make sure your smoke detectors are in good working order. They can literally save your life.

16.  Inside Caulking– Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom and kitchen fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring

17.  Fans – Turn the fan off, clean and oil the motor, clean and dry the blades and reverse the air flow direction to push warm air down.)

18.  Furnace filter – Replace your furnace filter regularly to save your heating bill.

19.  Batteries-Replace batteries in smoke detectors and test the smoke alarms.


Here are things to do outside your home:

1.    Bird nests– Remove any bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures

2.    Weather-stripping– Even insulated windows and doors require additional reinforcement for winter. Weather-stripping reduces drafts and saves on heating bills.

3.    Caulking– If we caulk window and door casings that will keep out air and water. If the house has wood siding with window frames that stand out from the siding, caulk the top and sides of the frame. Don’t caulk under the sill which space should be left open to allow moisture inside the wall to escape. If your house is brick or stone, with window frames that are set into the finish material, caulk all four edges of each frame – where the brick mould meets the masonry.

4.    Faucets – For those who do not have freeze-proof faucets, it is important to shut off the indoor water valve and make sure the outside faucet is completely drained. Also winterize your hoses.

5.    Air conditioning-Cover outside air conditioning units.

6.    Gutters – Ensure there are no leaves or other debris in your gutters in order to prevent overflow and leakage during heavy snow or rain. Consider purchasing gutter shields if your gutters frequently fill with debris

7.    Temperature sensitive material– Move all temperature sensitive material (water pipes etc) to warmer storage areas.

8.    Gas-powered lawn equipment– Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone

9.    Attic-Inspect attic for insulation and leak stains

10.  Chimney– – Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper

11.  Outside Paint– Check outdoor paint for peeling, cracking and coverage.

12.  Roofs– Check any missing, curling, cupping, broken or cracked shingles.Check if there is any deterioration around the flashing at chimneys, vents and other junctions

13.  Wood Siding-Repaint wood siding as needed

14.  Low Spots-Fill in any low spots around the house so water drains away from the foundation.Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, so that water does not drain into your basement

If you need home inspection information or you are in need of a great home inspector in the Charlotte, Huntersville, Concord, Fort Mill or Rock Hill areas contact Home Inspection Carolina.  They have performed over 23,432 home inspection and will not let you buy the money pit.  We have over 100 years of combined home inspection and construction experience.  Please give us a call (704) 542-6575

Preston Sandlin

Home Inspection Carolina

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