The Importance of Seasonal Maintenance
Picture this: it’s a cold blustery November day and a group of college students stand outside of their rental home waiting for an emergency repair service to be performed to stop the water damage taking place in their basement from a burst pipe because they didn’t prepare their home for the cold. A burst pipe can happen to anyone. But I witnessed this event firsthand. Fortunately, as a guest, and not one of the renters. But it did teach me very quickly the importance of seasonal maintenance for homes.
Proper maintenance not only ensures your home is ready for the colder months ahead but also helps you to avoid costly repairs, like the one I just mentioned. Whether you’re renting or a homeowner, you should be proactive about your residential upkeep. With that in mind, let’s dive into this seasonal maintenance checklist.
Let’s work top down in this section. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against seasonal elements. Examine your roof for any damaged or missing shingles. Addressing these issues now can prevent leaks and keep you warm and dry all cold season long. Next comes gutter cleaning and inspection. Fall brings an abundance of fallen tree litter. Over time, this buildup can clog your gutters and lead to water damage. By cleaning out your gutters you ensure that water can flow freely away from your home’s foundation. Don’t forget to inspect for loose or damaged gutters that may need to be repaired or replaced. Last, inspect your windows and doors. Drafty gaps will lead to higher heating bills. Seal any gaps around the windows and doors and replace weather stripping if necessary.
Yard & Landscaping
This step is more about enhancing your home’s curb appeal. Start by raking leaves and debris to keep your grass healthy. Fall is a great time to overseed and fertilize your lawn. Prune and trim overgrown shrubs and trees to prevent breakage from the weight of upcoming snowfall. Additionally, you should winterize your garden. Mulch the base of your plants and remove any annuals that have finished blooming. Don’t forget, fall is a great time to plant bulbs like tulips and daffodils which will bloom in the spring.
Inspect and clean your heating system before the cold sets in to ensure it’s running efficiently. You should have already addressed heat loss in the exterior maintenance section, but I’ll say it again, to drive home the importance of the matter. Seal gaps in doors and windows to avoid heat loss and keep your heat bill low. Lastly, have your chimney cleaned and examined to avoid any fire hazard scenarios playing out while you warm yourself with an evening fire.
Emergency Response Systems
Fall is the season of heaters and fires. As such, testing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be a top priority. Test them to make sure they’re in working order. In similar fashion, check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and place it in an easily accessible location.
Emergency Kit & Insurance Update
Windstorms and Washington go hand in hand in the fall. Preparing an emergency kit now may prove invaluable in the future. Include items like flashlights, candles, non-perishable food and a first aid kit. While you’re at it, double check that your home/renter’s insurance is up to date. You’ll want it to fall back on in case of an emergency.
Alright, we are finally at the cause behind the inspiration of this list. Before the cold sets in you should address the water systems in and outside of your home. Freezing temperatures can cause water in hoses and faucets to expand and damage your plumbing. Drain and disconnect all hoses. Additionally, use faucet covers and insulation on exposed pipes to prevent burst pipes. While you’re at it, check for leaks and address them.
Seasonal Maintenance Will Create a Worry-Free Cold Season for You & Your Home
By following this seasonal maintenance checklist, you’re not just prepping your home for the season, you’re enhancing its value and longevity. Plus, a well-maintained home is less likely to throw costly surprises your way. So, here’s some friendly advice: don’t procrastinate. Slip into your favorite sweater and start your seasonal maintenance now. That way you’ll be ready to welcome the upcoming cold seasons with open arms!