It’s important to take steps to maintain your home during the fall and winter months. Preparing and protecting your home for an upcoming season will give you peace of mind and will make your home more energy efficient, saving you time and money. We’ve put together a list of maintenance tasks that should be done during the fall and winter seasons.
- Check fire and safety systems; make sure fire extinguishers are charged
- Know the location of all gas shut-off valves
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries. While it is important to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month, winter is the perfect time of the year to give your home’s detectors a little extra TLC. Take the time to clean out your detectors of dust, spider webs, and debris and replace all of your batteries.
- Test GFCI and AFCI receptacles and breakers
- Test garage door electronic sensors and automatic reversal
- Check all stairs and railings for loose members
FOUNDATION – MASONRY – EXTERIOR
- Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving or deterioration
- Check chimneys for loose, deteriorated or missing mortar
- Check grading for proper slope away from foundation walls
- Check crawl space for moisture or leakage after wet weather
- Trim all vegetation back from structure
- Clean and inspect gutters & downspouts; make sure downspouts divert water away from foundation. Storms are a common occurrence throughout the winter, and with this weather comes debris. Clogged gutters or drainage issues put your home at high risk of overflow and roof damage. Ensure that you are taking the time to clean out and maintain your gutters this season to reduce your risk of damage and leaks.
- Check for evidence of water penetration in attics and ceilings after wet weather
- Trim back tree limbs and vegetation away from roof
DOORS AND WINDOWS
- Check for damaged or missing screens and broken glass
- Check weather-stripping around doors and windows
- Check caulking for deterioration at all openings and joints between doors, windows, and masonry
- Check ceiling areas beneath bathrooms for leakage
- Inspect walls and ceilings for cracks, sags, and bowing
- Check ceilings and surfaces around windows for evidence of moisture during wet weather
HEATING AND COOLING
- Clean or change furnace filters at least every three (3) months of operation
- Have system(s) cleaned and tuned-up before each heating and cooling season
- Have evaporator coil inspected and cleaned
- Check all faucets, hose bibs, and supply valves for leakage
- Check for evidence of leaks around and under sinks, showers, toilets, and tubs
- Have the septic tank cleaned every two (2) years
- Know the location of the main water shut-off valve
- Grind a sliced lemon and then 2-3 cups of ice in garbage disposal for freshness and sharp blades
- Run water down seldom used drains
- Clean faucet aerators and shower heads with a soft brush to remove mineral build-up
- Periodically check exposed wiring and cable. Replace at first sign of wear and damage
- Check all lamp cords and plugs for damage and wear. Replace as necessary.
- Trip circuit breakers to insure proper function
- Know location of electrical service panels and label each circuit
- If circuit breakers trip frequently or appliances spark or short out, contact a licensed electrician
- Make sure your supply of flashlights have fresh batteries in case of power outage
- Clean refrigerator drain pan
- Clean dishwasher food filter
- Check that dishwasher spray arm openings are clear
- Check dishwasher for leaks
- Clean kitchen exhaust fan filters
No matter the season, routine maintenance is key to preserving your home and keeping it in good condition. Did you know The Home Inspectors offers Home Maintenance Inspections for a comprehensive look at your home? We recommend having your home inspected annually or at least every 3-5 years. Your Home Maintenance Inspection will provide you details of the current condition of your structural systems, electrical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, appliances and optional systems (i.e. pools/spas, sprinkler systems, septic systems). Like with all of our other inspections, we include a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report (Termite Inspection).
Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726, Houston 832.474.2515, Temple/Waco Area 512.993.5100 or schedule your inspection online!