Three Tasks That Should Top Your Fall Household Maintenance Checklist

Once the summer weather begins to fade, you don't have long to complete any necessary household maintenance before it gets too cold. You need a fall chore list, and your list of tasks needs to be prioritized to ensure the most important tasks are completed as soon as possible. This way, if winter weather arrives earlier than planned, you can relax knowing the most important items are complete. But, how do you decide what tasks should be at the top of your fall to-do list? It's entirely up to you, but you should consider making these things a priority.

Gutter Maintenance

It's extremely important to repair and clean your gutters and downspouts before winter weather arrives. When your gutters and downspouts are clogged, it makes it difficult for water to drain away from your roof. This could result in ice dams forming, which in turn, can cause damage to your roof or leaks in your walls and/or ceilings. If an ice dam is heavy enough, the weight of it could rip the gutter off your house. To clean your gutters and downspouts:

  1. Remove all of the debris gathered in your gutters.
  2. Use a hose to flush out any debris that's collected in your downspouts.
  3. Install gutter guards, if needed, to help prevent your gutters from clogging.

Ideally, you want to wait until all of the leaves fall from nearby trees before cleaning the gutters if possible. However, if you think that your area will get a bout of snow and ice before all of the leaves have fallen, get the work done as soon as possible.

Remember, it's also important to inspect your home's drainage system to make sure the gutters and downspouts are in good condition and secure. If needed, you should repair or replace any sections that are damaged or loose before winter arrives.

Furnace Inspection

The last thing you want is for your furnace to stop working in the middle of winter. Having your furnace inspected in the fall can prevent this from happening. Call a local heating and air company like Universal Enterprises Inc. to schedule a routine inspection. During the inspection, the technician should check your furnace to make sure everything is in proper working order, as well as clean your furnace and vents to make sure there isn't anything restricting airflow into your home. Keep in mind, if the technician spots a potential problem, you should consider having the repairs completed as soon as possible. This way, you don't have to worry about a small issue becoming a larger, more expensive problem in the near future. Additionally, consider having the HVAC tech inspect and clean your air conditioner unit as well. This way, you're already prepared for the next cooling season.

Plumbing Winterization

Before it gets too cold outside, you should winterize the pipes underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. This way, your pipes won't freeze if it gets really cold outside. The process is actually fairly simple. All you need to do is buy pipe insulation tubing from a local hardware store, and then cut the tubing so that it fits the length of the pipe you're winterizing. If you're winterizing a pipe that curves, you'll need to use two separate pieces of tubing — one to cover the portion of the pipe that runs vertically and one for the part of the pipe running horizontally. If needed, use duct tape to hold the insulation tubes in place.

It isn't hard to prepare your house for winter. You just need to take the time to complete all of the tasks that you need to do. If you think you'll run out of time, at least make sure the most important tasks on your list are complete.