Feels like Fall came early in Louisiana! The last two days of cool mornings has us all eager to grab our sweaters and put on our boots, especially since there are seldom days we actually get to enjoy cool weather in our humid climate. In the hustle to enjoy our beautiful weather, don’t forget to show your home some love.
A shift in weather conditions can have a serious impact on your home. Below is a list of preventative maintenance tips for Fall that can help save you money over time!
Fall Maintenance Outside Your House
- Check your roof: Remove moss from sloped areas and clear any debris from gutters and downspouts. Additionally, look for signs of damage/wear and make repairs as soon as possible. Use binoculars if you need to. Fall is no time for a leaky roof!
- Look out for critters: Rodents and other animals might be looking for warm places to hide out, and they can cause big problems if one of those places happens to be in your home or garage. Watch for termites, roaches and other insects as well, and call a professional if you need assistance. (And, be sure to check the basement and crawlspace, too!)
- Get hoses ready for the cold: When the weather starts to turn, drain water from outdoor hoses, faucets and irrigation systems. Place covers on faucets as necessary.
- Inspect your vents and ducts: Attic vents, dryer vents and exhaust ducts should be clear (check inside and out).
- Watch those windows: Clean window wells and check drainage.
- Walk around: If you have cracks in your driveway or other walkways, address them now — freezing weather will only make them worse.
- Inspect your fences: Ensure your fence does not have loose boards, rotten wood, and is intact.
- Clean gutters and downspouts: Make sure your gutters are clear so water does not back up into your home.
Fall Maintenance Inside Your House
- Keep things dry in the crawlspace and attic: If you have a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition, and check for wet spots or puddles in the crawlspace.
- Look for leaks: Give your water heater (have you drained it lately?) and boiler a quick exam, and don’t forget your water main/meter or well pump.
- Do some fall cleaning: Clean and tune your furnace (change filters), boiler and/or water heater, along with your oven and range. With the holiday’s around the corner you’ll want to be sure your oven is in top notch condition and ready to cook/bake those meals your family looks forward to.
- Seal things up: If you feel any drafts around windows or doors, now is the time to address them. And, check your attic insulation, too.
- Check your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors: Even ones that are powered through your home’s electrical system typically have a backup battery that might need replacing.
- Get ready for fireplace season: Make sure there’s no soot or creosote accumulation, and consider having a chimney sweep do an inspection.
- Speaking of fires… do you have fire extinguishers in your home? You should (one per floor, at least). The pressure indicator should show a charge, and the lock pin should be intact.
- Check for rodents, bats, roaches, and termites: No one wants to discover that they are sharing their home with any critter, but if you do hire a professional to remove the intruder and make adjustments to correct them from re-entry.
- Check your attic: for water damage, and proper insulation.
Thinking of Selling your home? Here are some tips on why the holidays are a great time to sell.
One final tip: Since this list is largely are about protecting your biggest financial asset and keeping your family safe and comfortable, this also is a fine time to revisit (or create) your family emergency escape plan and emergency kit. Make sure everyone knows how to get out of their room, and where to meet once they’re out of the house. Your home is replaceable, of course — your family isn’t.