With autumn fast approaching, it is time to clean and update your home in preparation for the colder months. Here are some areas inside and outside your house to incorporate in your pre-fall cleaning:
- Wash Your Windows
Wipe down your windows with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the glass. Also use glass cleaner or dishwashing liquid on your windows for a streak-free shine. Cleaning them at night or on a cloudy day will make it easier to see any problem areas so you do not miss any dirty spots. Also, be sure to keep canvas, cotton or treated fabric blinds clean by vacuuming them. Use a low setting brush setting on your vacuum, or for vinyl blinds, simply wipe them with a damp cloth.
- Sweep the Chimney
Have your wood-burning fireplaces and stove flues and chimneys professionally inspected and swept. If there is a blockage or residue built up, the risk of fire and other safety issues increase. Chances are you will be using your fireplace frequently during the colder months, and you want to be sure your chimney is clean and in tip-top shape.
- Straighten Up Your Home
Seasonal transitions are a great time to reevaluate your belongings and decide which items go unused. Decluttering and reorganizing your closets, attic, basement and any other neglected storage areas can go a long way in making your home feel cleaner.
- Check Out Your Floors
With all the heat and moisture of the summer months, your floors are probably showing some signs of wear and tear. Evaluate your wooden floors and see if they need more attention than a simple sweep or cleaning. Have scratched, dull or damaged floors professionally scuff-sanded and recoated. Consider completely refinishing them if damage is extensive. Get your carpets professionally cleaned as well if heavily soiled.
- Check Weather Stripping and Caulking
Weather stripping and caulking are essential in keeping your windows and doors sealed. Proper weather stripping will keep fall and winter drafts at bay and can save you as much as 30 percent on your energy bills. Windows and doors may become slightly detached from their frames during the colder months, so it's important to make sure they are properly attached at the beginning of the season.
- Clean Your Gutters
Check your gutters for dead leaves or other debris that may be blocking them, and be sure to clear them out so water can properly drain. Gutters are essential in preventing water damage and other costly repairs. Get a head start and make sure they're clean before the fall.
- Check Your Roof
Sun exposure can cause warping, fading, chipping and other deformities to your roof and siding materials. Your roof has also likely undergone some weathering from heavy summer storms. Inspect your roof for any cracks or other damage, since it will be much easier to repair before winter.
Consistently checking, cleaning and updating your house are important components in home maintenance and should be included in your seasonal cleaning routine. For more information on how to prepare your home for fall, find a trusted, friendly home inspector near you at WIN Home Inspection.