Fall’s here! This means it’s time to ensure that your home is well prepared for the months to come, and it really should be since winter promises to be cooler than usual this year. So, to help you get started on your winter prep, here’s a handy fall property maintenance checklist of things you need to do.
Check Up On Your HVAC
With weather being the way it promises to be, you don’t want to be caught out without a furnace if the temperature takes a sudden dip. It’s best to have a working furnace that you can turn on whenever you need it during the winter.
- Change the air filter; although ideally, you should be doing this at least once per month.
- Check the vents around your home and clear them of any summer dust and debris
- Check the weatherstripping on your doors and windows to ensure that there’s no loss of energy. See if any needs replacing.
- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re in proper working condition.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat, which can help keep your energy costs low.
- Get your HVAC unit checked by a professional to ensure everything’s in working order.
If you have a traditional fireplace:
- Have a professional inspect the flue to ensure that it’s free of any debris, nests, or creosote deposits which are flammable and can be dangerous.
- Guard against over-fires and drafts by checking the gaskets on the fireplace doors and inspecting the damper and dump, and replace them if needed.
- You should also check and replace any broken or damaged bricks in the lining.
For gas fireplaces:
- Disassemble the whole setup and thoroughly check and clean all the parts as instructed in your user manual.
- Check for debris, rust and other contaminants, and replace any parts, if needed.
Looking After Your Landscape
Your landscaping needs a lot of love before it can be ready for the chill.
- Prune any overhanging branches in your trees and trim all your shrubbery.
- Plant new shrubs and trees, they will be ready to bloom by the time spring rolls around.
- Fill in bare patches of your lawn by overseeding them, and then aerate them thoroughly so they take root easily.
- Rake your lawn often during fall: you don’t want dry leaves accumulating on your lawn, because if it rains, the leaves can clump together in a mass that retains moisture and can cause fungal infestations in your lawn.
- Mow and water your lawn regularly during the fall, and during the last two mows of your season cut close to the crown of the grass to allow for minimal browning during winter.
The Exterior of Your House
You will also need to ensure that the exterior of your home is winter-ready, as well.
- Hire a professional to inspect your roof to find and repair anything that needs to be fixed such as curling or damaged shingles.
- Check for peeling paint, which can happen if moisture is causing the house to swell
- As mentioned before, check the weatherstripping on the outside of your windows, as well, and caulk any damage in them.
- Clean and drain your gutters using a hose to prevent any clogging from leaves and other debris.
- Fix any leaks with silicone sealer. If your gutter pipes are rusted, however, consider having them replaced.
Checking the Interior of Your Home
Since you’re likely to spend time inside your home when the weather calls for it, you’ll need to check on the following:
- Interior walls and give them a fresh coat of painting, if you are inclined to.
- Check your attic for anything unusual: especially, improper insulation and bad wiring.
- Clean and dust out your carpeting, and fix any damage.
- Check the wiring and lighting in the rest of your home, as well.
Although the winters in California are not the same as those in the rest of the country, it’s always better to err on the side of safety when it comes to being ready for the cold season. The weather, especially these days, can be a fickle thing, and you certainly don’t want to be caught off-guard.