If you live in an area in the Midwest, chances are you experience a fair cost of living, friendly neighbors, and amazing outdoor experiences. You may also experience unpredictable weather during this season and throughout the winter: hurricanes, tornadoes, and other types of whether. Now that fall is officially upon us, we have 5 fall maintenance tips to prepare your property and home to withstand the cold months ahead.
1. Have your fireplace inspected
A chimney may become a serious safety hazard to your home. It is recommended that fireplaces be cleaned and inspected annually by a professional to check for buildup of soot and creosote. Discard old ashes and work the damper to allow air to freely move through the chimney. Remember, your fireplace is only as safe as your chimney, so have it inspected externally for
2. Check windows and doors for drafts
Have you ever noticed how quickly hot air escapes near windows and doors? This is because cracks and other openings allow both warm and cool air to seep through them, leaving you with high energy bills. Go through your home every fall, checking for broken seals on windows and deteriorating doors to locate any drafts. Applying caulk and weather stripping to any cracks in your window and door structures will help minimize drafts and potentially reduce your heating and energy bills!
3. Clean out those gutters
It’s a pain, but a necessary fall chore. Gutters should be cleaned and inspected every year around this time, especially if there are lots of trees around your home. When gutters become clogged, water may overflow causing damage to concrete around your home’s foundation, driveway and walkway. Replace any damaged or old gutters, or consider buying new ones with built-in leaf guards.
4. Prevent damaged pipes
Before freezing weather hits, prepare your interior and exterior pipes from damage. To prevent pipes from bursting, run cool water until the pipes are empty and completely drained. Otherwise, water may freeze and cause damage within the pipes. Also, wrapping exposed outdoor pipes with heating tape will help prevent them from freezing. Lastly, hire a professional to fix any leaks or suspicious areas you notice before cold weather sets in!
5. Test your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
A smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector should be installed on every floor of your home, including the basement. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties without either smoke alarms, or smoke alarms that failed to operate. Inspect every smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year by replacing all batteries and testing to confirm they are working properly. Finally, stay on top of your safety measures by replacing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every five to six years.