Avoiding Costly Repairs – A Quick End-of-Summer Home Maintenance Guide

A major way to avoid costly repairs as a homeowner is to stay on top of home maintenance projects. To get you fall and winter-ready, here’s a quick guide for those important end-of-summer tasks. To further boost your general maintenance, we’ve provided a deeper look into specific tasks for the season.

Quick Overview

  1. Clean both the inside and outside of your home. Get rid of things like old newspapers, hazardous materials, soot (if you have a fireplace) and leaves trapped in the gutters.
  2. Winterize windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk.
  3. Repair outside paths like steps, driveways, and sidewalks.
  4. Examine your roof for damages and make repairs as needed.
  5. Schedule a professional to check your furnace.

Additional Actions to Take

Updating Alarms & Staying Safe

To keep them working properly, smoke alarms require monthly tests and new batteries annually.. When you’re taking care of home maintenance tasks, updating batteries takes very little time, and can mean the difference between life and death.

Aside from replacing batteries and performing tests, it’s important to consider the kinds of alarms you have in your home. In a survey of households with fires, the Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded that having interconnected alarms increases safety. This means when one detector is activated, all will sound. With stand-alone alarms, it’s possible to be unaware of a fire in one section of your home until it’s too late.

Newer detectors on the market offer synchronized alarms that detect multiple things: carbon monoxide, smoke, and in some cases gas leaks. While these options are usually more expensive, the advanced technology is truly shaping the way for safety since you can monitor your home’s safety devices through a mobile app. The biggest benefit: You don’t have to be at home to be alerted. If you have pets, or kids who are old enough to stay at home alone, having a tool like this would notify you immediately if something goes wrong.

Cleaning Your Air

According to Energy Saver, you can reduce your energy consumption by up to 15 percent when you use a new or clean air filter, as compared to a dirty and clogged one. Keeping your air filter fresh also creates less strain for your home’s heating and cooling system, and improves air quality overall since there’s minimal buildup of dust and pet dander. Since the summer time is when your home’s cooling system is generally in constant use, it only makes sense to replace or clean your air filter at the end of the season. Keep in mind only reusable air filters should be wiped and cleaned. If it’s not reusable, purchase a new air filter.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

When you’re checking and maintaining your home’s plumbing for colder weather, you’ll want to locate pipes that are most susceptible to freezing like those installed in an outside wall, or in areas connected to a crawl space (e.g. a basement). Other kinds to look for during your search are un-insulated pipes, and copper or galvanized steel pipes.

After taking inventory, identify solutions for each problematic pipe and carry out preventive plans. Here are a couple of starter suggestions:

  • Close crawl spaces to keep cold air out.
  • Add insulation to areas that aren’t warm during winter.
  • Put heat tape or wrap pipes with no insulation.

Something else you’ll want to do is shut off your outside valve and drain any residual water. Remember to disconnect and empty hoses from the outside valve(s) first.

Whether you decide to handle these projects on your own or contact a professional, you should always have necessary contact information readily available during winter. You never know when you might have to make a call. In the meantime, taking the time to get your winterize your home will pay off in the long run.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Blog credit: Paul Denikin

Paul Denikin is passionate about sharing his experiences working on DIY projects to benefit people with special needs children. He is the owner of DadKnowsDIY.com, which shows off helpful DIY projects