It has been said that the easiest way to eat an elephant is by taking one bite at a time. The same holds true for home maintenance tasks. Broken down into smaller bites, the jobs don’t seem so overwhelming.
We like to categorize them by seasons. Heading into fall, and the wild weather to come in winter, there are several preparatory home maintenance tasks that you can and should get underway right now.
“A home operates with the seasons, coming to life in the spring and hunkering down for the winter,” said Ronda Kaysen, New York Times columnist and author of “Right at Home.”
The good news is that some of these chores can be tackled in one weekend.
How’s the caulking holding up?
If it’s been awhile since you checked the caulking in the home, take some time this weekend to check it out. Even if you just check the caulking around the doors and windows, you’ll be one step ahead in preparing your home for the colder weather to come.
An easy way to check for air leaks from windows is with a lit candle. Hold the candle “… close to the window seams on a breezy day,” instructs the experts at diynetwork.com.
“If the flame bends, it signals air movement pushing through the window from outdoors.”
Go outside and check the caulking on the frame. If you notice gaps or cracks it, you’ll need to replace the caulking.
Other areas of the home to check include around doors and anywhere that pipes and vents protrude to the outside wall.
You’ll find tips on caulking windows at bobvilla.com.
Inspect the roof
Real estate agents learn early in their careers to look at the ceilings when touring a home with their clients. Often, water stains on the ceiling are the first indication to homeowners that the roof is leaking, although they may also signify leaky plumbing or fixtures.
Next, go outside and take a look at the roof, checking for missing and broken shingles.
Finally, check trees that are close to the roof for overgrowth and trim it back so that it’s not in contact with the roof.
If you suspect roof damage, call a roofing contractor for a more thorough inspection.
Get rid of gutter gunk
While you’re checking out the home’s roof, take a look at the gutters. The main purpose of gutters is to ensure that water is directed away from the foundation. If they’re full of leaves and other debris, they’ll be ineffective and may cause foundation damage.
Remove the debris and ensure that the gutters are securely attached to the home.
Ensure your refrigerator doesn’t poop out
It’s one of those home-maintenance tasks most homeowners neglect. But did you know that appliance experts recommend cleaning your refrigerator’s coils every six months?
The coils help to keep warm air from intruding to the inside of the refrigerator. They tend to collect dust, pet fur and other debris that then slows the unit’s efficiency.
What ends up happening is that the refrigerator works harder and, thus, uses more energy.
The refrigerator’s coils are located either at the bottom of the front of the unit or in the back. Use your vacuum cleaner to remove the debris and, if necessary, a coil cleaning brush. These are inexpensive and can be purchased at amazon.com, lowe’s.com and walmart.com.