When you care about your house and know you’re there to stay (at least for a bit), chances are you’ve put great care and investment into it and its general state. It is then important to inspect your house regularly in order to spot and fix any potential issues and maintenance. Planning your DIY ahead will avoid any unnecessary stress and last minute spends that you wouldn’t have accounted for.
While you can save Spring to clean up after the winter, and Summer to do the works that are not possible when it’s raining or too cold (painting outside, fixing outdoor steps or patios, checking a chimney…), in autumn you’ll need to prepare your home for the upcoming harshness of winter, and assure everything holds well if the weather gets extreme. Of course, if some works are seasonal, do regularly check your property all around. For now, here are some tasks for the upcoming months…
Check the roof – examine and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
Go all around the rain gutters – check their state and fixings. Pour some water in the gutters to make sure they function well. Be particularly careful with leaks and conduit angles. Remove debris and dead leaves.
Sweep the chimney – this is necessary one to three times a year depending on how often you use it. This will make it more efficient but also limit your fire hazard.
Exterior structures – Fill in any cracks in the outside walls. If you see moisture stains use a specialised product to treat them.
Exterior accessories – Before storing away your watering hoses, do ensure they are empty. Store in the house or shed. If you have an automatic watering system, purge the pipes with compressed air. Cut power on outdoor conduits – this will avoid them breaking if it freezes.
Clean your garden furniture and store it in a dry place.
Clean and maintain your lawn mower and don’t forget to empty the tank.
Empty your barbecue and clean it. If it has a gas tank, empty it, and protect the metal from rust.
Check the state of your leaf blower, and remember to change the plug and fuel filter if necessary. If ever it’s not working, head to a specialist for repair.
Heating – Do make sure your heating is in perfect functioning state. Clean inside the house, check the sealing on door frames, and that the doors close correctly. Have the boiler controlled once a year by a professional, and bleed the radiators. Install a carbon monoxide detector to prevent intoxication risks. Check that the smoke detector functions well, and change batteries if needed.
This is also a good time to give your heating system a MOT. If your heating system is not working as efficiently as it could be it will be costing you. Check out Trade Radiators who have a selection of radiators and heating appliances if you are looking to replace aspects of your system.
Close the pool – If you’re lucky enough to have one, empty it once the bathing joys are over. If it’s inflatable, do make sure it’s well dried before you fold and store it. If it’s built in, cover with a large sheet to protect from leaves and debris, and use the solid cover if you have one, to limit accident risks.
Ventilation and isolation – Check the air exchanger in the mechanical ventilation. Start by dusting. Control the motor, heating elements, and vents. Remove dust and clean air vents. Dust baseboard heaters, clean air and heat conduits. Don’t forget to clean the vent filter in the kitchen and bathroom. Check isolation in the whole house, including doors and windows.
Isolation – if needed, install some new insulating materials on the exterior edges of doors and windows. Check the bottom of doors, and think about thick curtains for isolating windows.
Isolate hot water pipes with a sleeve to reduce your energy bills.
Heating – Your temperature needs will vary through the day ; you may want to lower it at night, as well as when you’re away. Programmable thermostats will make this easier, and can allow you to reduce your heating costs and maintain a stable temperature through the house.
Humidity – a hygrometer will measure the humidity level in your house (ideally 30-55%). Under 30% is too dry and could cause allergies or sore throats. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to reach an ideal level. Do keep an eye on mould, as it could cause health issues. Treat with a specialised product as soon as you spot some.
Check or replace seals around the bathtub, shower and sink in the bathroom.
Smoke detectors – Check, install if you don’t have one, and replace the batteries if necessary. Test by blowing off a candle nearby.
Taps – Go around taps, check gaskets, and replace if needed. Take off and clean tap nozzles (soak in vinegar).
Christmas decorations – At the start of December, check light garlands and change any broken bulbs. Check that electric cords are in good state. If installing outdoor lights, use outdoor extension cords.