In spring, we say “Spring has sprung,” but what’s the equivalent for fall, “Autumn has arrived?” Ok, we’ll work on that one a bit. But in the meantime, the arrival of fall means it’s time for some home maintenance! Luckily there’s a lot you can do yourself — inexpensively —to reduce the chance of a costly wintertime home repair disaster, make your home safer and save a bit of money. Here are some things you’ll definitely want to do before winter weather hits:
Install carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless gas. A detector could save the lives of everyone in your home in the event of a malfunctioning furnace, hot water heater, stove, room heater or fireplace.
Test your smoke detectors
If they are battery-powered, change the batteries, too.
Reverse your ceiling fans
Warm air rises, so switching your fan’s blades so they run in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat will push warm air back down into the room. (Fans should run counterclockwise in the summer months.) In the winter, changing the direction of your blades can save on heating costs, especially in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings.
Caulk around windows and doors
Caulk doesn’t cost a lot, but can make a real difference in terms of energy savings throughout your home.
Divert water away from your home
It’s easy to add extensions to your home’s downspouts so that water runs at least three to four feet away from your home. Doing so can prevent too much water from pooling near your foundation and entering your home.
Clean your gutters
By helping to direct rainwater away from your home, gutters prevent water damage. But they can’t do their job when they are clogged with leaves and other debris. It’s a job you’ll want to do — or hire someone to do — twice each year. You’ll also want to clean out your downspouts and make sure water is being directed away from your home. While you’re at it, inspect your roof — or have a professional inspect it — so that any damage can be fixed before winter.
Clean your chimney
Before you start your first fire of the season, have your fireplace or wood stove chimney cleaned and inspected. It’s an important way to prevent a home fire.
Let us know what you’re doing to get ready for cooler days. If your are buying a home in Rapid City or in the Black Hills give us a call or schedule online. Check out Red Horse Home Inspection on our facebook page for more home safety and maintenance tips.