As the seasons change, make sure your home is well-adapted to the coming weather. Fall offers you a chance to take care of the preparation for winter storms and colder temperatures. Timely upkeep will prevent emergencies which can cost thousands to repair. Here are a few of the most important fall home maintenance tasks for your property.

Tips for Home Maintenance in Fall

1. Identify Air Leaks and Seal Them

Air leaks around doors and windows let cold air inside the house, lowering the temperature in the room. Heat loss from air leaks accounts for 25-30% of heating costs, increasing your energy bill.

Find gaps by sliding a sheet of paper below the door or the window. If the paper slips through easily, there is an air leak. Another way to look for leaks is by using a lit candle. Move the candle around the door and window frames. You’ll see the flame respond to airflow. Repair leaks with weather stripping and caulk. Weatherstripping wears out over time, making it necessary to inspect the doors and windows at least annually.

2. Fall Home Maintenance: Repair the Driveway

Tiny payment cracks can become big problems. If your driveway has cracks, repair should be at the top of your fall home maintenance list. Water seeps through these cracks, and during winter, the water will freeze and expand, causing more damage.

Small cracks combined with freezing weather can lead to crumbling concrete. To avoid a giant pothole in your driveway, repair the pavement during fall.

3. Inspect the Furnace

Help prevent furnace troubles on the coldest days of the year. Test the heating system in advance of cold weather to make sure it’s working correctly and efficiently. Schedule maintenance with an HVAC contractor for a professional checkup.

If you haven’t done so recently, replace the HVAC filter. Clogged filters result in the inefficiency of the system, poor indoor air quality, and more expensive heating bills. Having a professional check the furnace will also save on your heating costs during winter.

4. Drain or Disconnect the Sprinklers

Buried irrigation lines can freeze during winter. Among the necessary fall home maintenance tasks, one of the most ignored is taking care of sprinklers.

Frozen irrigation lines will result in busted pipes. If your system doesn’t have drain valves, hire an expert to blow the water from the pipes using compressed air. A professional will make sure the draining is done correctly, eliminating the need for costly repairs in the spring.

5. Clean Your Gutters

While they may be working well, gutters often need to be cleaned in the fall due to accumulated leaves. Clogged gutters overflow and cause ice dams that can be costly to repair. Overflowing gutters also lead to water leaking beneath the shingles and under the siding.

During the cleaning process, make sure the gutters are well-attached to the home and drain properly. Identify damages and repair them before the weather gets cold. Downspouts should direct water five feet or more from the house to avoid foundation problems. Luckily, there are downspout extensions you can add if yours are too short.

Fall Home Maintenance Helps Your Home in Winter

Fall offers you a chance to enjoy moderate weather as you handle repairs around your home. Use these tips to take care of home maintenance for a pleasant winter.

Checkpoint Home Inspections provides inspections in northwest Oregon. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to request our services.