Yes, it’s true: Fall is here, and that means winter is just around the corner. The changing of the seasons is always a good time to invest in a little home maintenance so your abode is running smoothly and you catch any potentially large (and expensive)
problems before they get out of hand. Follow this checklist and you’ll be in good shape for the winter.
HEATING AND COOLING
- Check ceiling and surfaces around windows for evidence of moisture.
- Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases.
- Ensure all stairs and railing do not have any loose sections.
- Test all fire and safety systems, including carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clean or change furnace filters.
- Keep area around heating and cooling equipment clear.
- For boiler systems, check water level and shut-off valve for leaks.
DOORS & WINDOWS
- Periodically check for exposed wiring and cable. Replace as necessary.
- Check all lamp cords, extension cords and receptacles for wear.
- Trip circuit breakers every six months and ground fault circuit interrupters monthly.
- Look for loose or missing glazing putty.
- Check caulking for deterioration at the openings and joints between dissimilar materials.
- Check weather stripping.
- Check for broken glass and damaged or missing screens.
- Check all faucets, hose bibbs and supply valves for leaking.
- Check for evidence of leaks around and under sinks, showers, toilets and tubs.
- Inspect lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves and exposed lines.
- Check the main water shut-off valve for operation and leakage.
FOUNDATION AND EXTERIOR
- Check for any missing, loose or damaged shingles.
- Look for open seams, blisters and bald areas on flat roofs.
- Clean gutters, strainers and downspouts.
- Check flashing around all surface projections, sidewalls and protrusions.
- Trim back all tree limbs and vegetation away from the roof.
- Check foundation walls and floors for cracking, heaving, spalling, deterioration or efflorescence.
- Inspect chimney for loose, deteriorated or missing mortar or bricks.
- Verify basement and crawlspace has no moisture or leaks.
- Inspect all decks, patios, porches, stairs and railings for deterioration.
- Cut back and trim all vegetation from structures