For many owners, fall home maintenance springs to mind as soon as temperatures do their seasonal dip. No one wants to deal with overflowing gutters, a temperamental heating system, or a roof with missing shingles after winter arrives. But to keep everyone safe and comfortable year-round and preserve the structural integrity or your home, there are quarterly home maintenance tasks that should be done on a regular basis.
Visit the Attic
If the attic is a place where things get dumped and then forgotten, perhaps this fall is the ideal opportunity to schedule an organize-the-attic weekend. Once it has been cleaned out, take the time once a season to tidy up and check for the following:
- Stains on walls that could indicate damp (compromised) insulation
- Blocked vents
- Daylight coming through gaps in the roof/ceiling
Inspect your Fire Safety Equipment
Ensure that any piece of fire safety equipment in your home is functioning properly. Press the “test” buttons of the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector to see if they are still working – replace batteries as needed.
Check the pressure of each fire extinguisher in your home. Most fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge – if the needle is in the green section, all is well. When an extinguisher does not have a pressure gauge, test it by pressing in the pin – if the pin returns to its original position, the fire extinguisher is pressurized.
If you have a residential fire sprinkler system, every three months make a visual inspection of the controls and sprinklers – valves should be fully open and there is nothing hanging from the sprinkler heads.
Check Fixtures in Low-Use Areas
Plumbing in low-use areas shouldn’t be neglected. Flush the toilet in a guest bedroom or basement bathroom that hasn’t be used in a while. Remove any sediment rings in the bowl.
Turn on the taps and run the water for a count of five.
Remove mineral deposits from faucet aerators and showerheads by cleaning them with a vinegar solution.
Maintain the Garage Door
Include the garage door on your regular quarterly home maintenance checklist. Check the following:
- Safety reverse function is working
- Electric eyes are positioned correctly
- Springs work smoothly – oil if not
- Door remains in place when manually pulled up to the half-way point and released (balanced if stays in place)
Clean the Gutters and Downspouts
You might think that the gutters are lucky to be cleaned twice a year, never mind being maintained each season. It depends on the number of trees growing on your property, particularly the ones next to the house. Where you live might also determine the number of times a year the gutters should be cleaned. For example, if you live in an agricultural community or next to a highway, it might be necessary to gutter clean once quarterly.