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Fall Check Up: Protect Your Home in 10 Steps

It’s the perfect time for home maintenance.

Changes in the air bring new challenges for homeowners. Whether your local fall climate is summer with a hint of rain or an early arctic blast, you’ll want to be ready when the first cold snap arrives! By spending a pleasant autumn afternoon on home maintenance, you can stay warm inside without worry throughout the cooler seasons. Here’s a helpful list of things to do before you settle in for pumpkin spice and college football.

Autumn preparations you can make.

Trim trees, bushes, and other foliage. After growing freely in the spring and summer, the branches of trees and shrubs can pose a variety of risks to your roof, siding, and gutters. Cutting lengthy branches will reduce places for wildlife to hide close to your house and limit the risk of falling debris.

Clean out your gutters. Leaves and other waste can block water, causing build up that may damage your roof, foundation, and basement. While not the most fun activity, taking time to complete this task can save you significant problems down the road.

Maintain and put away seasonal equipment. As summer lawn care comes to an end and autumn takes over, now is the time to prepare some tools for storage and ready other equipment for the work to come. In certain areas you may be putting the lawnmower away and getting the snowblower ready. In other parts of the country, you may need to make sure the leaf vac is in good repair.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s shocking, but with over 400 Americans dying from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, using the change of seasons as a reminder to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be a top priority. It’s a good time to change the batteries in battery-powered devices, too.

Review your home’s weatherproofing. Weather stripping around doors and windows can help you save money no matter if your fall climate is hot or cold. The Department of Energy estimates homeowners can save up to 20% on energy costs each year by reducing drafts. Your local utility may offer home energy saving suggestions.

Give your home a good once-over. After finishing your basic checklist, inspect your home inside and out. Make note of any repairs needed now or in the future to keep your property pristine.

Expert advice may apply.

Get a roof inspection. Your roof is the most important defense against the weather. Rain or shine, snow or wind, fixing issues like cracks and holes will make the fall (and coming winter) more pleasant indoors. A professional inspection will tell you what needs to be done.

Have your fireplace and chimneys inspected. With cold nights quickly approaching, it can be critical to get your chimney inspected and have creosote build-up cleaned. Did you know over 20,000 fires are caused by chimneys each year? By hiring an experienced chimney sweep, you can make sure your first night around the fireplace doesn’t end in a fireball!

Check your furnace, boiler, or other home heating units. Whether you are turning the heat on now or waiting a few months, having a trusted technician inspect your system will both save you money and keep your house comfortable all season long.

Weatherize your water pipes. While the weather is still warm, now is the time to make sure your pipes won’t freeze once the first taste of winter hits. Depending on the location of your pipes, this could be either a DIY task, or one where professional help is a must.

Use this checklist as a starting place to keep track of your home maintenance responsibilities.

A good final step is contacting one of our expert loan officers! If you’ve found a problem during your property inspection, we have a variety of home loans to fund projects big and small. Your loan officer may also be able to highlight maintenance needs specific to your area, or recommend trusted local experts. Lastly, they can make sure your mortgage is still working for you, helping your home and finances for years to come.