If the frantic activity of the squirrels this time of year is any indication; winter is coming and it might be harsh one. But while the days are still longish and the sun is warm, there is no time like the present to make sure older loved-ones are prepared for whatever the next season has in store.
Many fall home tasks can be done before the need arises and prevent problems once the weather turns nasty.
Fall Home Checklist:
- Have the furnace inspected and tuned-up by a professional. Replace dirty filters and clean out registers.
- Clean out dryer vent
- Replace smoke detector batteries, check carbon monoxide detectors
- Inspect sump pumps
- Arrange for a chimney sweep to ensure the fireplace venting system is working properly. Install a cap to keep out animals and debris.
- Check the roof for damaged shingles. Use binoculars from the ground to look for missing or curled shingles or old caulking around pipes or vents.
- Inspect window and door weather stripping. Replace broken or missing seals.
- Check gutters and downspouts for cracks, damage or broken seals. Gutters will need to be cleaned out after the leaves fall but repairs are much easier to do in fair weather.
- Drain and shut off outdoor faucets.
- Check step and paths are in good repair, fix any broken or cracked cement that could become a fall hazard.
Not only will these early season fall projects keep your loved-one(s) safe and comfortable at home this winter, regular maintenance will help lower energy bills and prevent costly damage. If downsizing is a possibility in the future, a home in good repair will be ready for the market when the homeowner is poised to make a move.
For more home safety tips, visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website at http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/122038/701.pdf .