Autumn Home Maintenance Chores – Interior
The crisp weather of fall is upon us and football season is well under way. While the prospect of relaxing into a lazy Sunday schedule calls to many home owners weary from the routine of weekend lawn mowing, don’t sleep on essential home maintenance tasks that will see you through the winter.
1. Check your home’s insulation. Your attic should be five to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air, otherwise too much heat escapes and causes frozen water to melt and refreeze which can result in a collapsed roof. Don’t neglect your basement and crawl spaces, and well insulate pipes in those spaces to protect against freezing.
2. Maintain your pipes. Wrap your pipes with heating tape every winter and insulate unfinished rooms such as garages, if they contain exposed pipes. Check pipes for cracks and leaks and have any damage repaired immediately to prevent costlier repairs later. Keep your house warm — at least 65 degrees.
3. Check your heating systems. Be sure to maintain your furnace, fireplace, boiler, water heater, space heater and wood-burning stove and have your heating system serviced every year. Check smoke and fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and change your heating and air conditioning filters regularly.
4. Keep your house weather-tight. Learn the location of your pipes and how to shut the water off. If your pipes freeze, the quicker you shut off the water, the better chance you have of preventing pipe bursts. Check weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors and replace or repair as needed. Caulking helps keep your house weather-tight, lowers your heating and cooling bills, and can also help keep insects and rodents out of your house. Also look for chipped or peeling paint around window frames and trim. Repair broken glass and loose or missing putty. When needed, use a modern glazing compound instead of putty for a waterproof seal.
5. Inspect vents and faucets. Clean and vacuum dust from vents, baseboard heaters and cold-air returns. Dust build-up in ducts is a major cause of indoor pollutants and can increase incidences of cold-weather illnesses. Check all your faucets for leaks and repair any you find. Replace washers if necessary.
By setting aside a few weekend days now, you’ll save yourself from a lot of hassle later. Once your home passes your fall inspection, you and your family can relax and enjoy the coming holidays free from worry about potential home maintenance catastrophes.
Information courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders, www.NAHB.org.
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