Four “Must Do” Fall Maintenance Checks for the Home

If you are watching money like our family, it’s tempting to put off home maintenance service checks to free up a little extra cash for the holidays. Unfortunately, being “cheap” and cutting costs here can often lead to pricey repairs on down the road.

The purpose of a fall maintenance check is to make sure that a home’s systems are properly serviced and winterized before the cold weather hits. Ignoring these checks means running the risk of a breakdown and compromising your safety and health. Here’s a list of fall maintenance checks not to neglect in hopes of saving cash.

Fall furnace tune up. Before cranking up the furnace for winter, have a certified HVAC technician clean and inspect your furnace. A technician will clean and lube the moving components of your furnace, inspect for gas leaks, clean out the filter and keep your furnace operating at manufacturer-rated efficiency.

Chimney sweeping. Wood fires leave a nasty and higher flammable deposit on the walls of a chimney stack, known as creosote. Heavy buildups of creosote not only increases the risk of chimney fire, it will slow the flow of air through the chimney leading to a build up of carbon monoxide in your home. A fall chimney sweeping will brush out the debris and creosote buildup so that your fireplace will be safe to use once the cold weather arrives. Families who burn “green” or unseasoned wood should have the chimneys swept out again halfway through the winter burning season.

Sprinkler blowout. In cold climate areas, water left in the sprinkler lines can burst leading to broken sprinkler heads, spigots, and damaged lines in the spring. Flushing out the sprinkler system with air before a winter freeze will prevent damaged sprinkler heads and lines. This task is best done by a professional who has the machinery to do the job right.

Fall roof check. Wrapping up the list of fall maintenance checks should be an inspection of the roof. If the roof of your home is a higher climb than you feel comfortable with, a qualified roofing contractor can inspect the roof for you. A roofing contractor will check for loose or missing shingles, inspect the flashing around the chimney stack and vent pipes, and can make repairs as needed to keep your roof in sound shape for the cold and wet weather ahead.

More by this contributor:
Rooftop maintenance tasks for the DIY homeowner.
Winter cleaning tips that will brighten your home.
Where to install a fire extinguisher in your home.

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