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Home Maintenance Schedule

Fall

Outside:

  • Remove garden hoses from spouts. Drain and store for the winter. Wrap spouts in insulation.

  • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems.

  • Clear debris out of window wells, gutters, downspouts, and storm drains.

  • Check weather stripping on windows and doors for fit and condition. Replace as necessary.

  • Check windows, doors, and siding for holes and cracks. Caulk as necessary.

  • Check and clean chimney (if you don't do it in the spring).

  • Inspect all soffit vents and other venting systems to make sure they're clear of debris.

  • Check bricks or blocks for cracked mortar or loose joints.

  • Check painted surfaces for paint failure, water damage, or mildew.

  • Examine all trim for fit, damage, and condition.

  • Check caulking where two different materials meet, where wood siding joins the foundation wall, at inside corners, and where the window and door trim meets the siding.

  • Check for loose putty around glass panes.

  • Check for broken or cracked glass and damaged screens or storm windows.

  • Insulate outdoor faucets, pipes in unheated garages, and pipes in crawl spaces with materials such as rags or newspapers.

Inside:

  • Have furnace checked and serviced if necessary.

  • Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs, and showers. Use a drain cleaner approved for the materials in your plumbing system if necessary.

  • Test all smoke alarms (when standard time resumes). Replace batteries as necessary.

  • Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, especially after electrical storms.

Winter

Outside:

  • Check roof for damage and/or icicles indicating potential ice dams.

Inside:

  • Check basement for leaks and seepage during thaws.

  • Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs, and showers. Use a drain cleaner approved for the materials in your plumbing system if necessary.

  • Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, especially after electrical storms.

  • If leaving the house for an extended period, avoid frozen pipes by opening the cabinet doors to allow heat to reach the pipes. Don't turn the heat completely off.



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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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