fall home interior

Indoor Fall Home Maintenance Tips

David Sherwood Sherwood Inspection Services, LLC Leave a Comment

As we go through the month of September in New England, the crisp morning breeze signals the imminent end of sweltering summer days.

Over the next few weeks, we will witness the charming transformation from summer to fall unfold before our eyes. As Mother Nature works her magic, you’ll want to make sure your home is prepared for all she has to offer. 

fall home interior

As a homeowner, now is the perfect time to put in some extra work on the inside of your house to keep it functioning properly throughout the winter.

Here are the 8 most important interior home maintenance tasks you’ll want to complete to be ready to go for the Fall season:

Indoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

  1. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detector

Ensuring that your alarms are functioning properly should be the first maintenance task of every season. Checking these devices regularly could prevent hundreds of deaths each year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 57% of house fire deaths are a result of no fire alarm or one that is not working properly. There are also thousands of individuals killed or hospitalized as a result of inefficient carbon monoxide detectors.

Generally, both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will have a test button that will emit a loud sound when working properly. If you hear little or no sound after pressing the test button, you’ll want to replace the batteries. If you replace the batteries and still do not hear a sound, it may be time to purchase a new detector.

  1. Clean fireplace and check for damage

If you have a fireplace in your home, you will probably begin using it frequently in the upcoming weeks of fall and winter. Before you put it to use, you will want to make sure it is in good shape. If your home has a wood-burning stove, you’ll want to inspect it for creosote buildup (a toxic byproduct of burning wood) as well as cracked bricks. You’ll also want to check the flue and the damper for a buildup of soot. If you do come across any cracked or loose bricks, signs of creosote or soot buildup, you should consider hiring a professional to clean and repair the fireplace if necessary. 

If you have a fireplace in your home, you will probably begin using it frequently in the upcoming weeks of fall and winter. Before you put it to use, you will want to make sure it is in good shape. If your home has a wood-burning stove, you’ll want to inspect it for creosote buildup (a toxic byproduct of burning wood) as well as cracked bricks. You’ll also want to check the flue and the damper for a buildup of soot. If you do come across any cracked or loose bricks, signs of creosote or soot buildup, you should consider hiring a professional to clean and repair the fireplace if necessary. 

If your home has a gas fireplace, it is important to be aware of the signs of a gas leak. If the ventilation on your gas fireplace is not functioning properly, you may notice some of the following conditions: crumbling bricks, dampness inside of the home, and stains on the chimney. If you notice any of these signs, contact a professional for further inspection.

  1. Clean out your dryer vent

A clogged dryer vent can be a dangerous event waiting to happen. Thousands of fires are reported every year as a result of built-up lint and dust in these vents. You can tell if your dryer is clogged from signs such as a burning smell, the dryer being hot to the touch, and extended drying times. To free the dryer of the build-up, you’ll want to disconnect the vent, vacuum or brush out the lint, and then reconnect the vent. Cleaning your dryer regularly not only prevents fires can also decrease your energy bill by decreasing drying times.

  1. Check for drafts by windows/doors

The crisp autumn air is great outside, but you don’t want it creeping inside of your home. If you notice a draft coming from a window or door inside of your home, you’ll want to fix this before temperatures drop even more. One way you can fix a drafty window is by caulking around the window trim. Another way is to install weatherstripping foam to the edge of the window or door. You could also opt for installing interior storm windows. If none of these options seem to stop the draft, you might consider a home energy audit. 

  1. Have your heating system inspected by a professional

As the days continue to grow colder, the heating system in your house becomes more and more important. There’s nothing worse than finally turning on your heat on the coldest day of the year so far, only to find it isn’t working. You should prevent this issue before it even happens by having your heating system inspected by a professional. Sherwood Inspection Services’ inspectors are skilled at pinpointing any potential issues with heating systems and helping homeowners fix the underlying problems.

  1. Insulation
home insulation

Insulation is crucial during the cold months here. As a way to prevent freezing and bursting pipes, you can add pipe insulation to any exposed pipe. You also might consider upgrading your home’s overall insulation as a way to reduce energy loss. If you notice chilly drafts throughout your home, it may be time for that home insulation upgrade!

  1. Check for pests
pest inspection

Along with the cold weather often comes some small unwanted guests in your home. Pests that tend to wait out the winter season are likely to begin looking for homes as fall arrives. Some of these pests may include ants, cockroaches, stink bugs, and rodents. Check for signs of these pests such as holes in window screens, chewed insulation, damaged plants, or fecal droppings. Some ways to prevent them from entering your home in the first place include trimming the landscape around your house, sealing holes with caulk, and storing firewood away from the house. 

  1. Clean your Garage or Shed

The garage and shed tend to be a catch-all during the summer months. However, this is where you will likely put your snow blower shovels and stored outdoor items. So it is important to clean out the fertilizer, mulch bags, empty pots from plantings, put up more shelves if you need it, and get it organized. Get ready for the gas tank, generator, and snowblower activity. Never mind the rakes and leaf blowers for the later fall cleanup.

The garage and shed tend to be a catch-all during the summer months. However, this is where you will likely put your snow blower shovels and stored outdoor items. So it is important to clean out the fertilizer, mulch bags, empty pots from plantings, put up more shelves if you need it, and get it organized. Get ready for the gas tank, generator, and snowblower activity. Never mind the rakes and leaf blowers for the later fall cleanup.

Once you’ve completed these tasks, you can break out your flannel and relax by the fireplace. The inside of your home is now ready for the cold months to come! Just be sure to make sure you prepare the outside of your home for winter within the next couple of weeks. Check out our exterior fall maintenance checklist for more tips and tricks!

Our friends at Porch also have some extra tips to help make sure you’re ready for the Fall and Winter season.

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