Summer has not ended yet, but I am thinking ahead. I recommend all of my clients, family members and friends to think about Fall home maintenance weeks or months before it arrives. The reason is that home improvements and home maintenances need plan. Some of the works you will need to schedule a licensed professional, or service provider, it is always better to have things in place before you need them. So I called Hawk Eye Inspector for a little advices on how to do Fall home maintenance. This blog will be about interior Fall home maintenance and I will post one for exterior next week. Let’s start our Fall home maintenance.
Check your heat pump, furnace or boiler. Have a heating professional make any repairs that are necessary. If there are the filters associated with your heating system, check them out. Be sure you know what kind of filters you have as each furnace accepts a certain size filter. There are 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day filters. There are also filters that you do not replace, but that you simply remove, hose off, and put back into the furnace unit. Properly maintaining your furnace (keeping it running efficiently and prevent leaks) conserves fuel.
Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs.
Check all windows and door locks for proper operation.
Fireplaces, wood burning stove connector pipes and chimneys should be inspected at least annually. Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper. Soot and creosote, which build up inside the chimney, can ignite when a fire is lit in the fireplace.
Check and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Check for cracked or missing caulk around the base of your toilet, bath tub, and bathroom cabinets. Properly sealing gaps between your bathroom fixtures and flooring materials can prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring.
Check the weather stripping around every outside door and window. Changes in temperature and humidity level cause doors and windows to expand and contract. Normal settling of a house sometimes changes the alignment of the windows and doors slightly, resulting in misalignment of the weather stripping. Over time, the weather stripping can also deteriorate from normal wear and natural element, such as the summer heat. In the fall, it should be checked for deterioration and/or alignment and replaced, if necessary. This will help to keep cold air out and the heat air in.
Check around windows and doors for air leaks. An easy way to check for leaks is to move a lighter around the window or door frame and see if the flame moves with a breeze. If you find a leak, you can caulk it or you may have to replace the wood frame. If you are unable to repair the leak around a window frame, you can buy a plastic sealing kit from any home improvement store that can be used on the outside of the window to prevent air from getting in. For door leaks around the bottom of the door, you can install a new door sweep. Having these leaks repaired can save you money on your energy bill during the cold months.
If you see any dark, dirty spots, it may indicate that you have air leaks coming into your home. Check the insulation. You need to try to locate these leaks and repair them.
This time of year is a great time to do some indoor painting. Paint goes on and dries better in dry conditions, when the temperature is not too cold. The weather is still warm enough outside to leave windows open to ventilate during painting. Most of your professional painters are not as busy in the fall months as during the rest of the year. You may be able to get a good price to have your home painted. After the painting is done, make sure your leftover paint is stored in a heated area of your home, like a garage, to prevent it from freezing.
By performing these Fall maintenance measures now, you can prevent possible problems later on during the cold months. If you have to have repair work done during the cold weather, it could be more costly than having the maintenance work done now. If you do not feel comfortable doing these maintenance projects yourself, research your area for reliable, insured professionals. Or you can contact me, so I can point you to the right people whom I know they will do good works.