Spring is usually a time when people like to clean out their homes, declutter garages, and overall refresh the look and feel of living space; however, fall is also a wonderful time to get ready for the colder temperatures. Preparing your home for winter during the fall can leave you with less stress around the holidays, and it can also make your house nice and cozy for staying indoors when the weather turns frosty.
Below are some simple things you can do to complete your fall home improvement and cleaning checklist:
Check Your Home’s Hardware
You probably don’t think much about the various nuts, bolts, screws, and washers that keep items in your home together, but they play a big role in your safety and comfort. Fasteners of all types are what keep plumbing fixtures running smoothly and doors and windows opening and closing properly.
It’s recommended to check your fasteners for proper tightness and to check for corrosion before the weather changes. You can purchase spring washers today and replace any that are worn out as worn annealed spring steel washers can cause pressure to be unbalanced. This can lead to property damage if a fastener fails. Spring washers manufacturers will usually provide recommendations for the expected lifespan of each product.
Pipe insulation should also be addressed during the fall. Check all pipes in vulnerable places, including basements and crawlspaces, to ensure that they are properly insulated to avoid damage during the colder months.
Inspect Your Heating System
No matter what type of heating system your home uses, fall is the time to inspect and maintain it. If you aren’t familiar with the technical aspects of doing this, it’s usually best to have a professional handle the hard work for you.
Springs, coils, filters, fans, fireplaces, heating elements, pipes, and more should be checked for proper operation. All of this should be handled before turning your heating system on for the first time each year to avoid the potential for a fire hazard.
Handle Outdoor Concerns
Although the focus of fall cleaning and maintenance is usually on the inside of the home, there are outdoor concerns that should be addressed as well. For example, you’re encouraged to clean out your gutters before the cold weather arrives. Clogged gutters can be a problem all year long, but clogged gutters in freezing cold temperatures can lead to property damage and safety concerns.
Likewise, trim any branches from nearby trees that may be a hazard to your home. Loose branches that get weighed down with snow or ice can be a threat to personal safety. You can also take this time to look for other yard work matters that need to be addressed.
Look For Drafts
Windows and doors are notorious places for drafty conditions during the winter. On top of wasting money by sucking out warm air from your home, drafty areas can also make you uncomfortable.
Thankfully, most of these issues can be resolved using weather stripping products. If you notice uneven windows and doors that are causing drafts or cracks that have appeared around window or door frames, it’s probably time to call in a professional to handle things.
Change Alarm Batteries
If your home uses smoke and fire alarms that take batteries, fall is a good time to replace these batteries. This will not only provide protection against fires, but it will give you and your family peace of mind in knowing that your emergency alert equipment will be standing by if it’s needed.
You can also use this time to check the expiration dates on any fire extinguishers you have in your home. If a fire extinguisher is at or nearing its expiration date, now is the time to get a replacement.
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