As the leaves begin to change and we move into the fall, it’s time to prepare your home for winter (yes, even in San Diego!). A little maintenance and extra care this season will help preserve the integrity of your home and make you say “thanks!” to yourself come the spring clean-up season. After all, your home is the biggest investment in your life. At North County Property Group, we’re experts at maintaining our clients’ properties year-round, so we’re sharing our tips, tricks and insights into how best to care for your home this season.
Inside Your Home
As temperatures dip and we spend more time indoors, the inside of our homes become a winter sanctuary. But once the windows close and heating is turned on, there are important maintenance tasks every homeowner should do to help prepare their home for the yearly switch. Many of these tasks should be performed on an annual or biannual basis, making Fall the perfect time to add to your home maintenance checklist.
Indoor chores for Fall:
- Sealing air leaks around doors, windows, and vents. Some simple weather stripping and caulk should do the trick! If you have more significant airflow challenges, we’d recommend booking in with a professional in the summer to avoid the pre-winter rush. Sealing these leaks can help you save money on your heating bill this winter!
- Bring in the professionals to do a thorough inspection of your heating and furnace systems. This is also the best time of year to change all your furnace filters to ensure your furnace is operating at maximum efficiency. Consider taking advantage of an annual maintenance contract that could save you money and forgo the hassle of scheduling a new service appointment every fall. Many companies offer a reminder service that automatically schedules your furnace cleaning annually!
- Check your fireplace or woodstove for blockages and potential fire hazards. Check up inside the flue to ensure the damper is working properly and there are no blockages like nests or debris. For fireplaces that have a build-up of creosote, we recommend bringing in a professional to ensure it is properly cleaned. It’s a potential fire hazard!
- Use the changing leaves as your annual reminder to change the batteries and test the function of all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
- Clean your humidifiers. As the weather cools down, many of us will be using humidifiers to combat the dry winter air. However, if the tank is dirty you can end up with harmful mould and other airborne bacteria. This is the perfect time to clean the tank and ensure you are breathing in clean steam all winter long.
Outside Your Home
Prepare yourself for the harsh winter weather with these exterior chores and maintenance tasks. We recommend tackling these checklist items early in the fall to take advantage of better weather conditions and to identify problems before they are exacerbated by the cold.
Outdoor chores for Fall:
- Seal the cracks around windows, doors, and trim/siding with caulk to protect against air and moisture
- After all the leaves have fallen, be sure to clean your gutters to prevent any messy build-up. This is also the perfect time to replace any broken or sagging gutters or downspouts.
- Inspect your roof for damage or deficiencies. Replace shingles that may be missing or worn, and be sure to check the flashing around pipes, chimneys, and skylights.
- Remove temporary air conditioning units or cover permanent air conditioning apparatuses with insulated weather wrap
- Clean and store your lawnmower, since you probably won’t be needing it for a few months. And don’t forget about the fuel! Either drain your tank or add a fuel stabilizer before putting away to minimize the risk of storage.
- Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets to protect your hose and pipes. Be sure to turn off shutoff valves that supply exterior faucets and ensure your hose and lines are properly drained to avoid cracking.
- Inspect your outdoor concrete, such as sidewalks, driveway, and porches to fill cracks and areas of wear. The weather shift can often make these cracks worse!
- Check porches and decks for repairs. Store any outdoor furniture or grilling equipment in a covered, dry space such as a shed or garage. Be sure to wrap these items in a protective blanket or cover to protect against little critters!
- Clean and organize your garage so you can park your car indoors during the cold winter months.
- Be sure to clean up the leaves in your yard and prune trees so moisture from the branches doesn’t drip onto your house.
- Prune all shrubbery to encourage healthy growth in the spring.
- Prune and move all perennials and spring-flowering plant bulbs. Remove any dead or dying annuals. If you have a vegetable garden, be sure to remove all vegetation and give the soil a good turnover.
- Add a fresh layer of mulch to your flower beds or gardens. This will help to protect the soil during the cold winter months, so you have a healthy bed to plant in the spring.
- Aerate your lawn and address any patchy areas or dead patches. The fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn but make sure it is complete well before the cold sets in.
While this may seem like a lengthy to-do list, these regular repairs and maintenance will go a long way in maintaining the overall integrity of your home. We recommend setting scheduled reminders for annual or monthly maintenance to ensure you are getting your home in the best shape possible. Not able to maintain your home or rental property? Give the team at North County Property Group a call to discuss our San Diego property management, vacation rental and rental management services.