Now that school is back in session and the leaves are beginning to change, it may be a good time to take on some fall home improvement projects. Maintenance is an essential element of homeownership that can change with the seasons. From roof repairs to fireplace safety, it is difficult to know where to begin. But, completing the following tasks as you head into fall will help ensure a comfortable, efficient and healthy home environment going into the winter months.
Repair the Roof
Repairing or replacing your roof is a must during the fall! Any curling or peeling roof shingles can lead to permanent damage to not only your roof, but your entire home. First, take note of any damaged shingles or tiles on your rooftop. Then locate leaks or water stains on the ceiling inside your home. Don’t forget the attic! Fixing these issues during the fall is easier and will save you the hassle of dealing with them during stormy winter months.
Clean the Gutters
With the fall season comes the falling of autumn leaves, which means it’s time to clean out your gutters. Freeing gutters of leaves and debris will allow for proper drainage and prevent damage to landscaping and siding. This will prevent potentially expensive water damage to the home’s foundation. Wait until most of the surrounding trees have lost their leaves, then clean out leaves and debris with a plastic scoop. While you are up there, it might make sense to install mesh or perforated leaf shields to ensure your gutters stay unclogged throughout the year.
Check your Insulation
Good insulation will not only keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, but can also save you money by reducing the need to run heating or the AC as often. Consider adding insulation to unfinished attic spaces between and over floor joists. You may want to add insulation between the roof rafters if your attic has flooring.
Seal your Doors and Windows
Chances are that over the course of the summer, your windows and doors got dirtier than expected. A little dirt is nothing to worry about but dirt and debris can build up, preventing doors and windows from sealing properly. These loose seals will let heat escape during the winter months. Inspect your door and window frames, making sure to clean away any dirt and repair any worn down weather stripping.
Clean and Safety-Check Fireplaces
During cold weather, there is nothing more relaxing than snuggling up in front of your warm fireplace. With this luxury, comes the need for added safety precautions. Take the time this fall to properly clean out your fireplace. Get rid of any extra soot and clean off any build-up on the inside walls of the fireplace.
Once your fireplace is clean, these safety precautions are worth completing:
- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends an annual inspection of your chimney by a qualified professional
- To reduce chimney buildup, burn well-seasoned hardwood.
- Install a chimney cap to keep out debris and animals.
- Keep a fully-charged, ready-to-use fire extinguisher in a spot that is easily accessible.