Home Maintenance is an important aspect of owning a home and most jobs around the house can be done inexpensively and quickly.
FALL MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Drainage- The standard way of grading a lot is to have the lot sloped so that the water drains to the front. Make sure you have no clutter along the sides of the house as the water may be prevented from running away from the house; thus, seeping into the basement. If the lot slopes into the house, at certain points, be vigilant in regards to the water ingress.
Electric - You will want to have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) plugs installed outdoors, if you don't already, as this will prevent shock in most cases. You can trip each breaker in the panel to test the circuit. *Caution - Turn off the power and lockout, so no one else can turn it on, before commencing with electrical work*
Garden - Trim down the roses and deciduous trees. Tie down any lattice etc. so that the wind causes no damage.
Gutters/Drain Spouts - The major reason for having these is to protect the foundation. Any down spouts that are not functioning properly should be replaced so that water can run away from the house. It is advisable to extend the down spout a few feet away from the house also.
Heater/Furnace - Step one is to put a filter in. The filter is most likely dirty from use over the summer. A new filter will help the furnace operate more efficiently and also clean up the air in the home. Vacuum the outside of the furnace and around it when changing the filter to prevent dust backups. Check that the forced air system works in all rooms by a check of the vents. Crack the heater and if it doesn't warm up, you will want to have the thermocouple tested. The heat exchanger should be checked also. You are looking to make sure that no gas is entering the clean air circulating in the home.
Paint -Paint protects the surface beneath it from water damage. Check over the outside of your home and if there are any areas that require painting, have them painted.
Roofs –Check the roof before the rainy season gets into full swing. *Caution: Do not get on top of the roof to check it.* You can check the roof from inside the attic, again using caution. On a sunny day, go into the attic and look up, if you see light coming through it leaks. If there are water stains on the beams, then it leaks. Look at the sheathing for signs of water damage. Call a professional roofer if you notice any of these signs.
Water Heater/Tank –The supply of hot water to the home is controlled by the water tank. The tank can be electric, gas powered, oil burner, solar etc…. Are there any leaks, water spots around the tank? This could indicate a rusted out heater that needs to be replaced. Check the temperature value by quickly opening and closing it. Water should run through it and drain down the drain hole. If it doesn’t open, have a plumber check it out. You can drain the tank through the drain stem at the bottom of the tank. Connect a hose to the drain stem, making sure to have the other end of the house outside, and open the value. *Caution – Beware of the hot water coming out of the tank.*
Weather Stripping -Be sure to check around the doors and windows for functioning weather stripping. Heating bills are expensive enough without trying to heat the outdoors, so fix any areas that require it.
This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, however, it will aide you in the upkeep of your property.
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