We had a good run of warm weather well into November but now the more seasonal temperatures have arrived and it’s time to turn our attention to some home maintenance tasks. You’d be forgiven for being a little behind this year – the 70 degree heat last weekend had us all want to head for the beach rather than rake leaves – but it pays to give attention to some of these more mundane activities sooner than later. If you want to avoid more tiresome (and costly) home maintenance down the track, spend some time on these key tasks before the holidays.
Check your smoke detectors
The fire department advise you to test your smoke detectors at least twice a year, and the clock changes provide a good calendar reminder. So if you didn’t already do this last Sunday, take 10 mins this weekend to check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly and replace the ones that are not.
Clean out your gutters
If you are not confident on a ladder this is one best left to professionals. Cleaning your gutters is an essential task at this time of year to prevent any rainwater from overflowing and running down the outside of your home damaging your paintwork - or worse, leaking into the house. It will also help prevent ice dams – a nasty side-effect of the snow and ice coming our way over the winter months.
Shut off your exterior water
Another key task is to ensure your exterior water has been shut off to prevent burst pipes or broken outdoor faucets next spring– turn off the water inside, then open the spigot outside to let any water drain out. If you have a sprinkler or irrigation system, be sure to contact your installer or a local maintenance company to winterize the system. Now is also a good time to locate your water main shut-off valve and check that it can still be turned – in older properties these can become stiff and hard to move. You don’t want to wait until you have a burst pipe to find out you cannot turn the water off.
Take care of draughts
With the rising cost of living it makes sense to ensure your house is well insulated – you can save on your energy bills and help the environment by making sure your home is energy efficient. Check your doors and windows for cracks or gaps and fill in what you can. Not only will it keep your home warmer, but you’ll deter any unwanted critters who might be looking for a way to escape the cold. A good old-fashioned draught stopper across the bottom of your door can make a world of difference! The biggest impact insulation can make is in your roof space – make sure your attic is well insulated to protect not only against high heating bills but also damage from snow and ice.
With these tasks checked off you should be all set to enjoy the holidays! Whether you are in your forever home or planning a move, it makes sense to keep up with some basic home maintenance. For advice on the most important things to take care of to get your home ready to sell, contact one of our experienced realtors.