The leaves are starting to turn golden brown and with more of a chill in the air and a fall and winter season on the horizon, there is no better time for homeowners to run through a maintenance checklist to ensure properties are in peak condition for the rest of the year.
Experts recommend setting aside 1% of the purchase price of a property for maintenance each year but you may need to spend more than that if large repairs are required. The age of the property, local weather and the location should also be factored into the extent of marketing budgets.
Most of the advice here is tailored for each season but you should check a few things on a monthly basis such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and heating and ventilation. Utility bills can also highlight any spikes in usage which may be due to system issues.
The end of the summer means the air conditioning unit can begin winding down so make sure everything is in order and opt for a waterproof cover to protect it for the next six months or so. You can also drain sprinkler systems and cover pipes located outside the house so they don’t freeze up.
The lawn can be mown and raked before the onset of the cold and plants can be brought inside or stored to prevent damage from frost. External doors should also be caulked or draughtproofed if necessary to prepare for the colder temperatures.
The weather from December to February can put additional strain on a property that has not been well maintained throughout the year so make sure you inspect the roof, downpipes and gutters before winter to ensure they are not damaged and can withstand bouts of snow and extreme cold.
The basement should be checked for any water leaks on an ongoing basis during the winter and you may want to install a leak detector so you are alerted to problems with your water heater which can also mitigate the negative consequences from flooding.
After a cold winter snap, you can begin assessing the damage from any winter storms, which includes an extensive check of outside taps for leaks. External water sources can be restarted, air conditioning system inspected with a view to being switched back on, the stopcock and plumbing fixtures checked and any visible cracks in the driveway repaired.
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Summer can be viewed as downtime from full-scale maintenance but you will still want to make sure patios are in good shape and any surrounding trees are healthy and not overgrown. As you will be going in and out of the property more during this time, it is also a good idea …