Fall Maintenance Checklist for Your Home
Posted Monday, October 7, 2013
The change of seasons is always a good time to pay attention to home maintenance. Here are some tips to get your home ready for winter.
1. Put away garden hoses and turn off outdoor spigots. If you don’t, the first hard freeze could cause your hoses to burst, or even worse, freeze the water in outdoor pipes. This is a headache you can easily avoid.
2. Clean out gutters. After the leaves have fallen is a great time to do it. While you’re at it, consider installing downspout extensions, which are inexpensive and easy to install.
3. Pick up all outdoor extension cords and check all cords for potentially dangerous nicks or frayed spots. Store extension cords neatly in the garage or basement. Extension cords are for temporary use only.
4. Find those air leaks. To find leaks in your home, turn on all of the exhaust fans in the house (including any kitchen fans that vent outside), and put the clothes dryer on the air dry setting. Then, light an incense stick. Use the smoke to detect drafts around windows, doors, and other gaps so you know where to caulk.
5. Check around the furnace. Before you turn it on, make sure no flammables (like paint, turpentine and sealants) are being stored near the furnace. These create a fire hazard. While you’re there, go ahead and change the filter before heating season.
6. Clean the filter in the hood of your kitchen range. You can just throw it in the dishwasher, and it’ll be as good as new.
7. Check the toilet. Put some food coloring in the toilet tank. If the water in the toilet bowl changes color without flushing, your toilet is leaking and probably needs a new flapper or other seal.
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