Don’t Fall Behind on Home Maintenance
The kids are back in school (maybe virtually), your Saturdays are filled with football and the sun starts setting a little earlier: it’s almost fall in Texas, and that means it’s time to run through a fall home maintenance checklist. With generally mild fall and winter seasons, homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s maintenance list might look a little different than the rest of the country—so Sandlin Homes has narrowed down what should be top-of-mind when prepping your home for the relatively colder months.
Care for your landscaping
Fall is the perfect time to get your yard and landscaping ready for winter. Trees need extra attention, so look for signs of poor health like noticable differences in leaf colors or fall patterns and dead branches. Trees that are unhealthy should be removed or pruned to prevent them from causing damage to your home (specifically the roof) during winter storms. As for lawn care, it’s important to rake fallen leaves throughout the fall to keep grass healthy enough to grow in the spring.
Keep the cold air (and moisture) out
A thorough check around your home’s exterior can reveal cracks in draft-prone areas like windows and doors. Adding weather stripping or sealing exterior caulk to those spots are a cost-effective way to cut down on heating costs and keep moisture out of your home. Pro-tip: caulk flows easiest when the weather is nice, so get this task done before the temperature drops.
Clear out gutters and downspouts
Like we mentioned earlier, autumn brings the falling of leaves in your yard. Unfortunately, those pretty orange and red leaves also end up in your gutters and downspouts, posing a major threat to the drainage of your home if left cluttered. Get out your sturdiest ladder (and recruit a spotter) to clean the areas and check for any damaged pieces, which should be replaced before winter.
Inspect your roof
Grab the ladder you used to clean the gutters and safely make your way to the roof for a quick inspection—or hire a professional if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Look out for cracked, curled, buckled or missing shingles and replace them immediately. While some stains are just cosmetic, mosses or other growths could signify decay that you can’t see. Also, check for cracks around vents and skylights. If there is more damage than spot treatment is worth, it might be time to replace your entire roof.
Analyze your HVAC system
Now that your home is prepped and ready to keep the cold air outside, it’s time to focus on the warm air inside. The last thing you want to wake up to on the first chilly morning is an equally chilly house—or worse, a frozen pipe. Conduct a visual inspection on your HVAC system: check for physical damage and clean the area around it. Then, change the filter. A dirty filter can cause major damage to the system and rack up your heating bills. If the damage is beyond basic homeowner knowledge, Sandlin can provide you with a list of area experts we trust to work on our own HVAC systems.
Replace batteries in detectors
A quick peek at your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors takes only a few minutes and are a priceless way to keep your family safe and healthy. It’s suggested that homeowners replace batteries in the detectors twice a year, so avoid the infamous chirp of a low-battery warning and set a reminder to do it again in six months.
Check out your fireplace and chimney
A favorite cold-weather pastime can often involve your wood- or gas-burning fireplace. Before you fire it up for the first time this season, grab a flashlight and peek inside the flue to make sure the damper is in proper working order and clear of debris (like bird’s nests or leaves).
As we gear up for another chilly season in Texas, it’s important that our homes are ready for the new season as well, and we hope this checklist gave you a good starting point. If you’re looking for somewhere new to call home this fall, talk to Sandlin Homes about what we have available in DFW—whether it’s in one of our planned communities or you have a lot ready to be built on, we’re here to help you find the perfect place.