The calendar has turned to November; the month during which we transition from fall into winter (not so much in Florida).
With less sunlight, colder temperatures, and shorter days ahead for Northwest Florida , it’s an opportune time to cross those last-minute maintenance items off your homeowner to-do list.
Practicing preventive care — both inside and outside your home — can save thousands of dollars in repairs come later this winter. What follows is a brief checklist to get you started.
For outside the home :
- Inspect exterior lights and outlets. Be sure that none of the outlets are cracked or broken, or have exposed wires.
- Clean gutters and clear all blockages. If leaves are falling, redo after leaves are off all trees.
- Inspect and test outdoor railings and stairs.
- Have problem trees trimmed, including those that may damage your home in a storm.
- Protect outdoor water faucets from freezing. Consider using foam cups, sold at hardware stores.
For inside the home :
- Change batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, whether they’re “dead” or not.
- Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils, plus the front bottom grill. Empty and clean the drip pan.
- Inspect wood stoves and fireplace inserts. Hire a certified chimney sweeper to clean the chimney, if needed.
- Insulate bare water pipes running through your home to prevent freezing and to limit condensation on cold-water lines.
- Inspect automatic garage door opener. Lubricate chains according to manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure bolts and screws are properly tightened and secured.
As a constant series of chores, home maintenance is a four-season job and one which should not be taken lightly. The tasks of each season are unique and November’s jobs are mostly preparatory in advance of colder weather.