rake colorful leaves fall

Fall Home Checklist

by Craig Hoffman | Tuesday October 27, 2020 | Building Tips

Quarry View Building Group loves autumn. It’s a season of transitions as the weather turns chillier and the days grow shorter. The long days of summer are a memory but our icy winter is not ready quite yet. Now is the perfect time to prepare for the winter months to prevent costly damage. Below are some fall preventative home maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.

Clean gutters & downspouts

Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout the fall to prevent build-up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters.

Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place. Ensure that water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways. 

Seal cracks in your foundation

Your home’s foundation—the concrete walls surrounding a basement or crawl space—supports the entire weight of the house. So it’s natural to be concerned if you ever discover cracks in the concrete. Fortunately, many foundation cracks are not serious enough to warrant professional attention, and repairing a foundation crack can be a DIY task as long as the crack doesn’t threaten structural integrity. If you feel that a crack is large enough to warrant an investigation, have a foundation contractor or a structural engineer take a look. 

Cut back perennials (if recommended)

Some perennials can’t handle cold weather well. They don’t remain attractive after the first frost, and the cold can lead to recurrent problems with pests and diseases. But cutting back certain perennials can protect them from the cold and spark healthy growth come spring. But some plants need their foliage for protection over the winter and instead should be pruned in the spring. Know your plant’s particular care requirements for the best results.

Service heating system

What is your home’s best defense against the cold of winter? It’s an efficient and effective home heating system. But to get the highest level of performance from your gas, electric or fossil-fuel powered system, you’ll need to give it some regular TLC by way of seasonal or regular maintenance. 

Most HVAC work should be done by a professional, but you can take some steps yourself to ensure the longest life for your system by changing the filters frequently and be on the lookout for frozen coils, water leaks, and dirty evaporator or condenser coils. Those could require an HVAC contractor’s help.

Change smoke detector batteries 

It’s recommended that we change the batteries in our smoke detectors twice a year. One good rule of thumb is to replace them when we change our clocks from Daylight Savings Time. Make sure to test the detector after installing fresh batteries. Press the test button on the surface of the detector. When the button is pressed, the detector should beep or chirp.

Check outdoor lights 

One of the most frequent home headaches is malfunctioning outdoor lighting. Before frigid conditions arrive, now is a great time to inspect and repair any outdoor lighting issues. Troubleshooting could entail replacing broken lights or fixtures. Checking the condition of the lighting system components and wire connections will ensure you have the lights on during the winter.

Clean chimney 

If you have a wood-burning fireplace and think it hasn’t been cleaned for a while, now is the time to tackle that project. Chimney interiors can suffer from a buildup of creosote, a flammable substance from unburned tar vapors. Given the safety concerns of climbing up roofs or on ladders, you may wish to hire a certified chimney professional for maintenance. 

If you’re experienced with home repair projects, you may want to do it yourself. To know whether a chimney is due for a cleaning, use a flashlight and a poker or metal tool and scrape the creosote residue. If creosote has collected to a depth of more than 1/8 inch, the chimney should be cleaned.

Start planning your building project for the Spring!

If you’re thinking about a new construction project in 2021, take the time now to consider what you want and where you’d like to build. One item on your checklist should be your choice of contractor. It’s an easy choice when Quarry View Building Group is ready to use our exceptional construction services on your project. Whether it’s a new agricultural facility or residential home, we have the experience and skill to make your project a reality. Contact us today.