The cool breeze in the air can only mean one thing: Fall is near. Now’s the perfect time to wrap up those little outdoor projects before the dampness of winter arrives. And even if you don’t live in a cold-weather area, it’s still good to use this opportunity for some routine home maintenance.
Keep reading for simple things you can do to keep your home in pristine condition all the year through. (Related: No Time for a Home Reno? Do an “In The Meantime” Fix-up, stat)
Touch up the paint
Spend an afternoon with a paintbrush and sandpaper touching up any chipped paint around the house. Small chips have a tendency to grow into large bare spots during the moist months of November, December, January, and February, so sand and seal them now. The same goes for the deck. If it’s stained, clean it well and add a protective coating to ensure it stays vibrant and rot-free. Glidden Professional offers more information on how to restore a weathered deck.
Clear the gutters
Fall is the ideal time to clean the gutters, even if you don’t live under large trees. Throughout the year, leaves and debris can collect and may clog the gutters on rain-heavy days. This can lead to water intrusions and roof and foundation damage. Clogged gutters can also cause streaked paint and may fall under pressure. According to estimates, professional gutter cleaning costs in the ballpark of $125 to $175 range and is an option if you’re afraid of heights or simply don’t want to risk it.
Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
You need to change the battery in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once each year, even if the battery indicator hasn’t warned you of weakening power. Now’s also a great time to inspect your fire extinguisher or buy one if you don’t already have one in the kitchen and garage.
Tend to the outdoors
Local home remodeler Murray Lampert suggests cleaning out the garden beds now. Trim trees and store any garden tools you keep outdoors during the spring and summer. You’ll also want to give the lawn one last mowing, power wash the porch, and clean exterior windows. While snow likely won’t be a problem, go ahead and cover the patio furniture until March, when the rain starts to wane.
Switch the direction on your ceiling fan
There’s a small switch on the base of your ceiling fan that controls blade direction. Switch this to allow warm air to be pushed from the ceiling and you’ll enjoy a more comfortable indoor temperature and fewer adjustments to the HVAC.
Reglaze the windows
Reglazing is a simple process that involves checking each window for air leaks and replacing any putty. You can check for air leaks by turning off the air conditioner and standing next to each window with a candle. If it flickers and/or goes out while still, you’ve found a point of intrusion. Use a small bit of glazing compound to fill visible cracks. CBS 8 notes that you’ll have to wait three weeks before painting the new seal.
Fix squeaks in doors and floors
You may spend more time inside over the course of the next 12 to 16 weeks, so take the time to silence squeaky doors and irritatingly noisy floors. WD-40 works well on hinges but the floors take a little more work. Here are seven ways to quiet things down from below.
Have the HVAC unit serviced
Contact your preferred home services provider and schedule a tune-up for your HVAC unit. Your electrical and plumbing systems can also stand for a yearly checkup to ensure you don’t wind up in the dark or without a functional toilet. Check out Yelp’s top 10 heating and air professionals list if you don’t have a provider in mind.
These ideas will keep your home comfortable throughout the year. They’re also great projects to tackle before you decide to sell.