Hello, October! Hello, falling leaves and cooler weather and pumpkin spice everything. We’re soooooo ready for you. And, just to prove it, we’re focusing on some home maintenance issues to keep your home looking and working great, but also to help keep your family safe.
Examine your outdoor lights
Turn them all on and walk around the perimeter of the house. Replace any burned-out bulbs and make sure you don’t have any broken lights. It might also be a good time to invest in some upgrades. Motion-sensor lights in the front and back of your home can help keep it safe from burglars, as can uplights in the yard.
Attend to your dryer vent
When is the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned out? Never? Oh boy. You’re way overdue. If you think cleaning out the lint trap every time you do a load is enough, this may be sobering: “Every year, firefighters across the country respond to around 14,630 home fires caused by clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Protection Association,” said Consumer Reports. “One-third of these fires is caused by an accumulation of lint.”
Seal your outdoor surfaces
“Cold temperatures and snow can cause your paint to peel, leading to moisture intrusion and wood rot, Brian Osterried, a product manager at paint company PPG, said on Realtor.com. “Protect your exterior surfaces by applying a stain and sealant.” Taking this step can not only extend the life of your home but also help keep dangerous mold away.
Protect your outdoor furniture
Storing or covering your patio furniture will help extend its life. Protecting the finish could also help to keep your family safe. Metal finishes exposed to the elements could get rusty and cause injury.
Check out your gutters and downspouts
Leaves and debris can collect here, creating a hazard. If water can’t drain properly, it could cause damage to the home. Be careful when you go to take a look, however. It would be slightly counterintuitive to injure yourself by falling off a ladder while you’re trying to take protective measures with your house.
Safely store your lawn mower
After your last mow of the year, it’s time to put away the mower and edger. Before you do, however, make sure to take the proper safety precautions. “Unused gas left in a mower over the winter can get stale, gumming up the carburetor and inviting rust,” said This Old House. “First, add fuel stabilizer to the tank, then run the mower to distribute it through the system. Turn the mower off and allow the engine to cool, then siphon excess gas into a clean can. (You can put this gas in your car, provided it hasn’t been mixed with oil.) Restart the mower and run it until it stops; repeat until the engine no longer starts and the fuel lines are empty.”
Test for Fire Safety
“Did you know that National Fire Prevention Week is in October? According to the National Fire Prevention Association, firefighters respond to an average of one house fire every 86 seconds, said improvenet. “It’s for this reason that National Fire Prevention week serves as a good reminder to test your home fire prevention system. Check your smoke detector battery and test your fire extinguishers. Review your fire escape plan with your family. You might even consider adding a sprinkler system to your home. You can’t ever be too prepared!”
Safewise reminds that an escape plan should include an exit strategy from upper floors. “It’s important that everyone in your home have an additional exit in case of a fire, so install ladders for any second-story rooms,” they said.
Clean out the fireplace.
A buildup of creosote in your fireplace can be dangerous, causing everything from breathing issues to disorientation or dizziness, to damage to vital organs in some cases. “If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you should have a professional chimney sweep annually inspect and remove creosote inside the chimney,” said Porch. “A professional can also inspect the outside of the chimney to make sure everything is in good working order.”