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  • Carlton Clark

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Are you starting to feel the nip of the winter air coming in? As summer comes to a close, before you start making your pumpkin spice lattes and preparing for football season, make sure to create a fall home maintenance checklist.


Clean Or Replace The Gutters


Clean all the autumn leaves from your gutters with an old plastic spatula, wet/dry vacuum, plumbers snake, or a pressure washer. Or hire someone to clean them for you. In addition to cleaning your roof, secure your gutters to the fascia boards so the ice coming off your roof doesn’t bend the gutters.


Check Windows For Drafts


According to the EPA, you can save up to 15% on your energy and heating bills by properly insulating your home during the winter.


Common sources of air leaks:

  • All exterior corners

  • Outdoor water faucets

  • Cable TV & phone lines

  • Wall or window-mounted AC units

  • Vents & Fans

  • Where the dryer vent passes through the wall

  • Knee walls (short wall, typically under three feet in height, used to support the rafters in timber roof construction)

  • Furnace flues or ducts

  • Basement rim joists

  • Attic hatch

  • Plumbing vents


Check your windows and doors for air leaks by rattling them. Any movement means possible air leaks. You can seal air leaks by caulking or weatherstripping them.


Your best bet is to hire a professional to run an inspection and install the necessary hardware to fix your ventilation problems.


Check Your Detectors


We are more at risk for house fires during the winter seasons, especially in colder climates where almost every household uses a heating unit. Make sure your smoke and CO detectors are working by checking the batteries and expiration dates.


65% of house fire deaths occur in homes that don’t have working fire and smoke alarms.

Smoke detectors typically last 8-10 years & CO detectors last about 7.


Drain Your Outdoor Faucets & Hoses


If you live in a region where temperatures go below freezing, then protect your outside water faucets by draining the water out of them. Even if you have a frost-free valve, you should still take the time because sometimes they aren’t drained properly.


Did you know that when water freezes it expands by over 9%?


This can evert over 100,000 psi of force, which is plenty enough to flood your basement.


Step 1: Close inside valve (Closest valve to the wall of the pipe going through to the outside faucet)

Step 2: Drain the valve by unscrewing it and letting the water drip into a bucket and close the inside valve.

Step 3: Disconnect the garden hose

Step 4: Unscrew the outside valve and let any trapped water spill out then close it back up.

Step 5: Put back the drain plug on the inside valve.


We also recommend bringing your hose in over the winter.


Bring Your Outdoor Furniture In


This simple step can go a long way in adding a few years to your outside furniture. Some furniture simply isn’t weatherproof. Also, we’ve had winters so bad here in Grand Rapids that the weight of the snow on our outdoor furniture, appliances & accessories can crush them. Lastly, water getting inside of anything, then expanding can break them.


Trim Your Tree Branches


West Michiganders are well aware of the storms we can endure during the spring and summer months knocking down trees. We’re also aware of the winter storms that can tear off tree branches hitting roofs, windows, cars & fences. You’d be wise to make sure your tree branches are trimmed during all four seasons.


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