One of the biggest financial mistakes I ever made was regarding the maintenance of my car. I was lackadaisical regarding my oil changes, and I ended up with a very expensive repair. It was a big lesson for me, and I’ve always been more careful about taking care of things I own since. I’m especially careful regarding the big ticket items that I own such as my home. And to prevent preventable expensive damage to my home, I’ve created a fall home maintenance list, 28 Home Maintenance Tips for Fall, to help me get ready for the season changes.
1. Create a home maintenance emergency fund.
When it rains it pours and despite the best planning I had some big home repairs this past month such as replacing the coil in my 12 year old air conditioner, $1400, repairing my fence which was blown down by a wind storm, $1400-3500 (I’m still taking bids), and my kids braces which with orthodontics insurance is costing me $3300.
That last one isn’t really relevant. But it’s preventing me about talking about the $80 we paid for the fridge repair guy and the $200 in groceries we lost right before #FinCon12 because it didn’t occur to my husband to unplug and replug in the fridge after the the electrical system on the fridge went a little haywire after a power outage.
Oh wait. I just did.
Still…set up that home maintenance emergency fund. You never know what’s coming. (Also, double check your spouse when you ask them to handle a repair for you.)
Indoor Home Maintenance Tips
2. Weatherproof your windows and doors.
Use a dollar bill to check for gaps or you can use incense to check for air leaks throughout your house.
3. Call a chimney sweep to clean chimney and inspect for damage.
This is really not a job for a do it yourselfer.
4. Protect yourself from frozen indoor pipes.
Think about adding insulation to those pipes to save yourself not only from frozen pipes, but to also make your system more efficient.
5. Check and change the batteries in alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
6. Clean out your dryer vent.
7. Replace your furnace filters.
You really should do this about 1 time per month with a break no longer than 3 months.
8. Think about switching to a programmable thermostat.
A programmable thermostat can really help you be most efficient about saving money when it comes to both heating and air conditioning.
9. Have a window air conditioner?
Remove and store or cover the condenser with plastic to protect it.
10. Check for dampness in your basement.
11. Check and test your sump pump.
12. Use grape Koolaid in a toilet to check your seals.
Put it in your tank and if your bowel goes purple you can check the flapper and other seals.
13. Check the extension cords being used in your house for nicks or frayed spots.
Better yet, find a way to not use them.
14. Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs, and showers.
15. Look for water leaks on your ceiling.
16. Make sure caulking around bathroom fixtures is sufficient to prevent sub-flooring damage.
17. Drain your hot water heater and remove sentiment.
Removing the sentiment can extend the life of your hot water heater.
Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips
18. Check your outdoor painted surfaces for chipped paint and mildew.
19. Run your gas powered lawn equipment until fuel tank is empty to prevent hire hazards.
20. Cut and stack wood for your fireplaces to prepare for those cold winter days.
Be sure to keep most of your wood stacked away from your house to prevent fire damage.
21. Clean and store your outdoor furniture.
22. Check the drainage around your home for standing water.
Standing water can attack all sorts of animals and bugs that can cause damage to your home.
23. Lubricate your garage door’s chains and roller mechanisms.
24. Trim the trees and get rid of dead limbs that could damage your home during ice and snow storms.
Right after we did this one year we had an awe inspiring ice storm. Power was out for a week, and the power outages in large parts were caused by trees that had not been maintained properly.
25. Inspect your outdoor lights.
26. Inspect exterior walkways and repair safety problems.
27. Clean the gutters.
Clogged gutters can create all sorts of damage such as water damage and bug damage.
28. Unhook the hoses from your outdoor pipes.
What other home maintenance tips for fall do you have to prevent future expenses?
© 2012, Whalen Media LLC. All rights reserved. To repost or publish, please email Kelly.