Maintaining the health of your home is as important as your own. Regular home health care not only helps to prevent disasters like a broken sump pump, or clogged sewer lines, unclean gutters, which could lead to flooding or ice damming. A regular seasonal check up is an easy way to avoid problems that might end up costing a lot more than regular maintenance. Generally these problems come at an inopportune time! It is a good rule of thumb to prepare your house as the seasons change.
Just like collecting a list of doctors to attend to your health care needs, Collecting a list of Service Contractors is also worthwhile- preferably before you are faced with an emergency.
Below is a general list to help you prepare your home for the Fall/Winter Season.
FALL/WINTER SEASONAL HOME CHECK LIST
Check for any loose shingles or tiles. Check for any cracks in tar, rubber and metal roofs. Have your roof cleaned. Replace any loose or missing tiles or shingles. Repair any cracks and reseal around flashing as needed.
Gutters are an important element of your house and serve to direct the water away from your home. Have your gutters cleaned after the leaves have fallen. Full clogged gutters can lead to ice damming and other water damage to the house as the water looks for alternate routes. Investing in leaf guards is a great idea, and installing heaters in your gutters can also provide added protection to avoid ice damming and other winter build up.
EXHAUST AND EXTERIOR VENT PIPES
Be sure that all exterior exhaust and vent pipe covers are intact. Replace and damaged or missing covers.
Change any outside light bulbs.
SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Check to ensure that all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operational- In a perfect world this should be done monthly, But at the very least seasonally.
Change out the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
PATIOS, TERRACES, DECKS, AND STEPS
Repair or replace all cracked, loose or broken stone. This is important not only aesthetically, but an important safety precaution. Any loose stone will likely become looser over the winter months as the freezing and thawing loosen the stones. As the stones break away, they are at risk of providing a tripping or slipping hazard. Check for loose deck material, secure all loose decking.
HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS:
Have your AC and Furnace serviced. Change your filters for your HVAC system. It is a good idea to change your filter monthly especially if any family members have allergies or you have pets at home.
WINDOWS AND DOORS
Check the weather stripping to ensure it is still in-tact, replace it as necessary. Check for cracked windows, replace the glass as needed.
Check silicone/caulk and replace where it is breaking away from the trim- this can lead to water infiltrations as well as air seapage, and often leads to decay.
Clean out your window wells. Be sure that the wells are clear of debris and leaves in order to prevent any back up and allow for easy drainage away from your house.
Touch up paint on the exterior of your house can prevent rot on siding as well as other decay, as well as protect your home from the elements.
Rod your sewer line. This will prevent any unnecessary back-ups- Often tree roots will infiltrate the line and cause back-ups. This should be done annually.
SUMP AND EJECTOR PUMPS
It is always a good idea to have a battery back up for your pumps. The useful life for a SUMP and EJECTOR pump is 3-5 years. It is always a good precaution to replace it before it breaks.
EXTERIOR WATER LINES:
Turn off all exterior water lines to prevent burst pipes. Be sure to check that all pipes that feed exterior lines have proper insulation.
Have your chimneys cleaned before the fire season begins. It is a good idea to install a stainless steel liner to ensure a safer healthier chimney in older homes.
Service your appliances and have them cleaned annually.
OVENS- It’s a good idea to have the gas lines and burners cleaned and checked.
WASHERS, DRYERS AND DISHWASHERS: Run a cleaning cycle monthly. There are several tablets designed to clean these appliances. It is a good idea to purchase these tablets and use them monthly to avoid build up that will prevent your clothes from being clean and smelling nice as well as clean dishes.
REFRIGERATORS: Many refrigerators have filters etc. A Sub Zero can last as long as 20 years with the proper maintenance.
Cut back appropriate shrubs and roses and cover the bases with dirt or mulch to ensure proper hibernation.
Remove/ clean yard of fall leaves and branches. Trim trees and remove dead branches. They are likely to brake off during the winter months and could cause damage.