1. Clean Out the Gutters
Clogged rain gutters can lead to costly repairs; hinder these unnecessary expenses by making sure to regularly clean out any leaves, twigs, and other debris in the gutter. Consider installing gutter guards to make cleaning easier for you.
If you see the gutter sagging or trapping water, tighten the gutter hangers and downspout brackets.
TIP: The downspout should stretch at least 5 feet away from the home to avoid and damage to the foundation. If not, you can buy downspout extensions at your local home improvement retailer.
2. Test the Detectors and Alarms
Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are crucial to a home. These devices can save lives in an emergency. Be sure your detectors are in the best shape by putting in fresh batteries and checking the alarms monthly.
3. Tidy Up the Yard
Autumn brings fallen leaves and other debris to the yard, while it looks messy, more importantly it can lead to many problems for the home.
Rake up thick layers of leaves that settle on the yard, especially the large leaves. When leaves get wet from the rain, they can suffocate the grass below and carry in all kinds of insects and diseases. Make it part of your routine to rake or blow the leaves off the lawn.
TIP: Don’t throw away your raked leaves! Instead use the leaves for a source of nutrients or add them to your garden as a winter blanket.
It is important to inspect the trees on your property. Hire a tree-service company to get professional advice on how to care for your trees and identify any weak tree limbs that can potentially cause damage to the home after a big storm.
4. Vents and Filters
Make sure to regularly clean out the dryer vent (the dryer vent is not the lint trap, but the vent that push air outside the property). Congested vents can be a fire hazard and should be taken care of immediately.
If you have any allergies or pets in the home, it is best to replace the air filters in your home frequently. Be sure to check on your heating and cooling systems to avoid any surprise fixes.
5. Control the Pests
As temperatures drop, insects and pests gather to the home for warmth. The attic is one of the most popular places due to its warm insulation for nesting and easy access to the other parts of the home. Make sure to prevent these unwanted guests by installing a screen behind gable vents to the attic.
Check your doors and windows for any small gaps or cracks which insects can crawl through. Keep your home pest-free by replacing weather-strips and adding caulk in empty gaps.