September’s Here: 5 Home Maintenance Tasks To Do
With the fall season arriving, so do maintenance tasks around the house. The change of every season brings with it reminders of home items on your “honey do” list. September is the month to do all those pending tasks you’ve been wanting to get to, but just never did.
Fun summer BBQ’s and family getaways occupy the summer months and usually family time and vacations win over tackling tasks of the home.
Fall is the time of year where you’re closing out summer and gearing up for preparation of the winter months. Cooler temperatures, increased rain, and upcoming snow fall can do a number on your home.
Plumbing is just one area you’ll want to focus on for winter preparation. Here are other tasks you may not have thought of.
Give Your Home Some Attention This Fall
1. Interior Home Inspection
A professional overall home assessment each year is always a good idea. However, there’s some tasks around the house you can inspect and do yourself, both inside and outside of your home.
September’s a great time to take a good look at the basement.
Check your basement for any changes in the walls or drains. Flush out hot water heater and remove residue to prolong the life and efficiency of your heater. Don’t wait until you need your sump pump to find out it’s not working. Test it often.
Purge and declutter basement so there’s no obstruction in and around sewage drains. Consider making September your donation month to get the tax write off prior to year’s end.
What’s documented is what’s accounted for. In the event of a flood, inventory details of your basement can be the most important thing you do in recovering precious items in your home. Make sure you include photos and checklists of your valuables. Inventory and insurance professionals can help you in staying proactive in this process.
Bathroom And Kitchen
Look for any new water leaks. Make sure that caulking around sinks and tubs are suffice in order to prevent water seepage into your sub-flooring. Check caulking around your doors and windows to reduce heat or cooling loss. While you’re at it, visit your sink disposal and dishwasher base to ensure adequate water flow and plumbing connection.
Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Generator
Test your smoke/carbon monoxide detector devices for proper functioning. Test, dust, and clean all home alarms, including your emergency generator. Make it a habit each September during daylight savings time change to take a close look around your home. These devices could very well save your life one day.
2. Exterior Inspection
One good sweep will give you a chance to notice any variances in the cement and surrounding driveway crevices where water can seep in. Make sure to have these cracks re-sealed before winter; water can freeze and expand in these gaps, causing more damage.
Clean out your garage by putting away dangerous equipment and hanging up the rakes where you can get to them. Make sure they are out of harm’s way of children or pets.
Don’t forget about the garage door. A neglected garage door can soon become loud and unstable.
- Remove door grime and mildew
- Wipe dirt out of garage door tracks
- Lubricate hinges, bearings, and springs with engine oil
- Use motor oil only on metal rollers, not on nylon rollers, as oil can make nylon rollers slip
- Raise and lower your garage door several times to distribute the lubrication
Let’s start with the roof. Use a ladder to inspect your roof from the outside. Climb up and get a close look at the condition of your roof. Sweep away leaves and debris to prevent water or snow buildup. Examine your shingles to see if any are missing, bent, loose, or broken.
Chimney and flutes
If possible, climb up with a ladder to get a close look at the condition of your roof. Sweep away leaves and debris to prevent water or snow buildup. Examine your shingles to see if any are missing, bent, loose, or broken.
Inspect your chimney for loose flashing and missing mortar. Seal small cracks where the flashing meets the chimney with masonry caulk, and reattach loose flashing with roofing cement.
Damaged shingles can cause unwanted leaks and ceiling harm. Because hurricane and flood season is in full swing across the nation, you’ll want to inspect and repair your roof as needed.
If you have access to your attic, check underneath your roof just after a rainstorm to determine if water is entering your home. Pay particular attention around your chimney, where leaks are most prevalent.
Get your chimney soot swept out by a Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweep professionals. Better yet, hire a qualified F.I.R.E. (Fireplace Investigation, Repair, and Education) certified inspector to evaluate and repair chimney or fireplace problems. These professionals can provide safety warnings and detect potential fire dangers. See Today’s Homeowner for further maintenance tips.
As mowing your lawn ceases for the season, it’s time to clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris. Whether you do it yourself, or hire someone to maintain your lawn, putting gutters on top of your list in September is a wise move.
Cleaning out your gutters will help eliminate waste matter and muck that clogs your home’s external drainage and causes trouble with your plumbing system. If your downspouts loose, dented, broken, run over or unattached, it’s time to replace them. Make sure your downspouts run at least 10’ away from your exterior walls.
Unruly Foliage Near Roof and Chimney
Take inventory of tree and shrubs around your roof and home’s exterior walls.Trim dead branches that overhang your roof.
Check around your lawn for any new and unruly growth that may have popped up during the summer months. Dead branches more flammable than live ones. They’ll likely fall in a wind or snowstorm, causing considerable damage to your roof, chimney, and gutters.
Arrange for sewer or snake out maintenance so pesky roots don’t wind up invading your drainage.
Trim tree limbs growing close to chimney flue to prevent fires and chimney damage. Make sure you leave 10′ of clearance around all sides. Keep your chimney protected and screened from falling leaves, birds, squirrels, and raccoons which often make nests inside chimney cavities.
Stack and split firewood neatly in your yard. For safety against fires, and to reduce creosote buildup in your chimney, burn hardwood logs dried and aged for at least a year.
Cut your firewood to a length that will easily fit inside your fireplace. Chop it into manageable sizes, saving smaller pieces for kindling.
Use a raised rack to hold your firewood, or stack your firewood in raised cords—safe from children and clear from someone possibly tripping over the woodpile in the dark.
Locate your woodpile away from your home to help prevent insects, rodents, or snakes from moving into your home for the winter. Place a tarp over your woodpile to keep it dry.
Summer Lawn Tools
The fall season is time to maintain your lawn toys and rev up your snow thrower. Give both summer and winter tools a good tune-up. Hedgers, edgers, tractors, and push mowing machines all need their mechanisms checked from time to time.
Why not tackle these duties in September? Sifting out unused gas, checking spark plugs, and changing oil in the fall can become your annual ritual.
That first snowfall will be here before you realize it. Stock up on sidewalk salt, shovels, and winter ready gear. Check and change the oil in your snow thrower. And, rev up the engine once or twice this month.
Many times, colder climate empty nester residents migrate to southern states for six (6) months or longer. Before you pack your bags for your winter escape, take the time to look around your house. You may have one more picnic in September, however, cleaning the grill is not out of the question.
It’s important that you take a good look at your duties around your house. Pay close attention to your home’s heating, cooling, plumbing, exterior, and interior appliances. You may want to turn off your ball valve to prevent any water problems like frozen or leaky pipes that could arise while you’re away.
Heating and Cooling System (HVAC systems)
Check HVAC system to make sure everything is working efficient. Budget ahead if there are filters, general maintenance, or AC free-on to replace.
Make sure your heating system will keep you warm this winter, call in a licensed HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) professional to service your home HVAC system. In addition to changing your air filter, a HVAC professional can:
- Test safety controls that help prevent fires
- Clean blower and motor to ensure good repair
- Test furnace burner, switches, and thermostat
- Check your ductwork unit for leaks
Winterize air conditioning systems. Cover central air units with a tarp or plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords. Remove and store window units.
Get heating system ready for winter. Check for any costly leaks in windows or doors. Open heating vents make sure they are furniture free. Get a furnace inspection annually.
Winterize sprinkler systems if you have one. Sprinkler systems need to be cleared out for the changing winter months, before it snows.
Store your outdoor furniture indoors and disconnect your hoses from outdoor faucets and roll them away to store in a safe place. Turn off and flush external faucets. Leaving your water on and your hoses attached could cause frozen pipes to burst from the elements.
3. Fire Extinguishers
Inspect your fire extinguishers in case you need them. Every home should be equipped with several ABC rated fire extinguishers that are within easy reach of your fireplace and kitchen stove.
4. Team Neighborhood
Contact a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home, especially if you know you’ll be away for a great length of time. It’s always good to have a back-up plan. A good neighbor may see things from their perspective that you may have not been aware of.
5. Create A Reminder Checklist
Planning your home maintenance tasks can seem like one more thing to tackle, but the extra time investment is worth it. The time you will save on preparation will outweigh how much time you’ll have to recover if you have major home maintenance troubles.
Be Prepared For Season Changes In September
From the interior to the exterior of your home, being a homeowner is quite the responsibility, especially when seasons change. Being proactive on tackling home tasks that could save you precious time and money.
Need a reliable plumber in the Metro Detroit area to tackle your plumbing tasks? Consider WaterWork Plumbing for your annual September inspection. Call us today: 248-542-8022 to schedule an appointment.