13 Important Fall Home Maintenance Tasks

The temperatures have plummeted over these last few days, reminding us that - like it or not - cold days at the Lake of the Ozarks will be here before we know it. Hot chocolate, cozy blankets, crackling fires... the cooler months bring lots of wonderful opportunities for sharing quality time with our beloved family and friends, but they also come with plenty of household responsibilities. 

13 Fall Home Maintenance Tasks

As we prepare for the temperatures to drop, Fran Campbell Team is here to remind of you of some key home maintenance tasks that must be done in order to help prepare your home for winter. We hope you find this checklist helpful!

1. Clean Your Gutters
Now is a great time to clear leaves, sticks, and other debris out of your gutters. Between rainfall and melting snow and ice, your gutters will have a lot to do this winter. You'll want to be confident that the excess water is running smoothly through your gutters - and not creating massive puddles all along your foundation.

2. Get Your Roof Inspected
Roofs are subject to plenty of harsh conditions on a regular basis, but fluctuating, freezing temperatures are especially hard on roofs. It's important to make sure yours is in top condition before the cold months really settle in.

3. Trim The Trees
Take the time now to make sure trees and their branches are a safe distance away from your home and roof. Trees can be brittle in the cold weather (especially if they become covered in ice) and can break in even a moderate gust of wind. You'll want to make sure that your home will not be damaged or put at risk if a tree or branch falls.

4. Put Away Your Hoses
You probably won't be needing access to your hoses during the winter months, so why risk them getting damaged outside? Just like trees, hoses can become dry and brittle during the winter months, causing them to break more easily. Save yourself the headache by disconnecting them and storing them safely in your garage for the winter - but don't forget to drain them out first!

5. Clean Out The Hot Water Heater
Any full-time homeowner at the Lake of the Ozarks can tell you that we have a lot of hard water here at the Lake. The sediment in the water can build up in your hot water heater, causing it work much less efficiently (or stopping it from working altogether). Cleaning it out once per year can prevent this from happening.

6. Check Your Furnace
If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that we don't want to be caught without a heat source during the winter! Hiring a heating expert to give your furnace a professional examination now will give you time to make any necessary repairs before it becomes an emergency.

7. Install A Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures in your home for different times of the day and night. Dialing the thermostat back even five to seven degrees for certain times of the day (such as when you're asleep or away at work) can save you a significant amount of money on your electricity bill. You can do this manually, but a programmable thermostat allows you to consistently manage the temperature of your home without having to constantly think about it.

8. Stock Up On Winter Tools.
Snow shovels, ice scrapers, salt... Chances are that by the time you really need these items, you won't be able to drive to the store to get them! Take time now to make sure you have all of the winter tools you'll need at your disposal (and that they're all in good working order). 

9. Inspect Your Chimney
If you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace, you'll need to have your chimney inspected before you use it for the first time. This is especially important for wood-burning fireplaces, as leftover particles from the burnt wood can coat the inside of the chimney. These particles are often highly combustible and can cause serious fire safety hazards if not properly removed. Both wood-burning and gas fireplace chimneys can also be homes to birds, squirrels, or other small animals during the summer months, and the nests they leave behind can create other fire hazards that must be removed before using the fireplace.

10. Winterize Your Lawn
Mow your lawn one last time after it has stopped growing, then break out the rakes and get as many of the leaves and twigs as possible out of your yard before the first snowfall. Debris buried beneath the snow in your yard is left in a dark, moist environment for long amounts of time, creating a perfect environment for mold and mildew to flourish. Thoroughly clearing your yard of debris beforehand can help prevent unwanted mold growth.

11. Seal Your Doors and Windows
You can drastically lower your heating bill by preventing valuable warm air from escaping outside. Doors and windows are the prime culprits, so you'll want to do a thorough inspection of all your doors and windows before the first big freeze. Use caulk to fill in any small cracks around the outside of the door frame or window pane and weatherstripping to fill any gaps inside the frame.

12. Insulate Your Attic
Heat rises, so poorly-insulated attics serve as another common escape route for warm air. Insulating the walls and ceilings in your attic makes a big difference, but many people are surprised to learn that adding a layer of insulation to your attic floor can also help seriously lower your energy bill. The only downside to adding layers of insulation on the floor is that for most people, it means no longer using their attic as an additional storage space (making space for the additional insulation requires removing plywood flooring).

13. Perform A General Home Check-Up
No seasonal home maintenance is complete without a thorough examination your entire home. Now is the perfect time to check your home for any minor maintenance tasks that might need attention. Replace any burnt-out light bulbs, check the batteries in your smoke detectors, change the filters in your heater/air conditioner, add salt to your water softener... Staying on top of these minor repairs will help head off the need for major repairs down the road.

These chores are important for all home owners, but they are especially important for those of you looking to sell your homes at the Lake of the Ozarks. Taking care of these tasks now will make your home more valuable to prospective home buyers, giving you an advantage over other sellers. 

Looking to buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks?

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to schedule a showing!

Real Estate Lake of the Ozarks : Find Your Dream Home Now! 


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