September 21, 2021 at 7:14am | Ann Nguyen

Fall is just about here, and it’s a great time for homeowners to tackle home maintenance items in and around the house. Doing these tasks will help protect their investment, too!

1. Caulk and seal around exterior door and window frames. Look for gaps where pipes or wiring enter the home and seal those as well. Not only does heat escape from these openings, but water can also enter and cause mold problems and even structural damage. Good sealing will also keep out insects, mice, and other unwanted critters.

2. Use binoculars to check the roof for missing or damaged shingles. Water, wind, ice, and snow can cause serious damage to a vulnerable roof, leading to a greater chance of further problems inside the home. If issues are spotted, have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof.

3. Clear gutters of leaves, sticks, and other debris. If the gutters can accommodate them, leaf screens can be real-time savers and prevent clogging. Check the joints between sections of the gutter, as well as between the gutter and downspouts, and make any necessary repairs.

4. In cold-weather climates, drain garden hoses and store them indoors to protect them from the elements. Shut off outdoor faucets and make sure exterior pipes are drained of water. Faucets and pipes can freeze and burst, causing leaks and increasing the potential for water damage.

5. A cozy wood-burning fireplace can be a real pleasure on a chilly fall evening. For safety, have the firebox and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned before use this season. Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning, can build up to dangerous levels and cause a chimney fire that can spread to the rest of the house.

6. Gas fireplaces should be inspected for proper venting and operation. Check glass doors for cracks and don’t use the fireplace if the glass is damaged.

7. Have the furnace inspected to ensure that it’s safe and in good working order. Many utility companies will provide basic, no-cost furnace inspections to their customers, but schedule early as there can be a long waiting list as the weather cools down. Replace disposable furnace air filters or clean the permanent type according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a clean filter will help the furnace run more efficiently, saving money and energy.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is committed to ensuring confident homeownership. To learn more about how Pillar To Post Home Inspectors can help your clients, visit

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