Here is a handy checklist of home maintenance for this fall. It includes some elements that most homeowners tend to overlook. For your convenience, print it and keep it where you see it.
The oven filter should be replaced every three months. An easy way to remember is to conduct the inspection on the first day of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Or the first of each quarter (January, April, July, October).
Inspect ducts, filters, and heating equipment. It may be best to clean and vacuum vents, ducts, and other heating components. Use a professional HVAC certified, if necessary. Many offer special discounts during the fall season.
Open and close the fireplace register to make sure it is working properly.
Clean the ash chimney if you have not done it since last winter. A good New Year's resolution would be to always clean the ashes in a timely manner.
Clean the inside of the chimney. You do not want to cover yourself with soot? Leave the dirty work to a chimney sweep. If you can not get Mary Poppins, try the yellow pages.
Install a top screen on your chimney to avoid debris and animals. Even raccoons have been known to fall in the chimneys!
Check the levels of your propane or oil tanks. You will probably need to replenish the supply.
Inspect and repair all hoses. To avoid frost problems in colder climates, drain and close the outside faucets.
Gutters and downspouts clean. You do not want small "trees" that grow in your gutters next spring.
Inspect the roof for loose shingles. Tip: If you have extra roofing shingles left behind by your roofing job, immediately store some in an area not too visible on the outside where they will be exposed to the elements. They will come with your roof shingles, and if you need to replace an occasional shingle in the future, they will blend very well with the rest of the roof
Check for leaks around roof vents, sinks light and fireplaces. You may want to rent to a professional who is properly certified and insured.
Clean under pressure and seal the deck. A layer should suffice.
Check for cracks in concrete and seal appropriately.
Inspect your foundation walls and seal the small openings. It's amazing how rodents and insects can sneak through the smaller holes, especially those where pipes or wires enter the house. A good seal also protects against damage caused by moisture and heat loss.
Protect outdoor items such as patio furniture, grills and hoses. The best protection is the storage inside a basement, a garage or a shed. If this is not possible, wrap or cover them securely. Do not forget to drain the hoses first.