Preventive home maintenance?

Preventive home maintenance tasks you shouldn't ignoreKeep moisture at bay. Make sure none of your appliances have been recalled.

Preventive home maintenance?

Preventive home maintenance tasks you shouldn't ignoreKeep moisture at bay. Make sure none of your appliances have been recalled. Examine the foundations of your home. If your property has trees, have it inspected by a certified arborist, who can check for signs of disease or dead branches and detect problems before they worsen and kill a tree.

The untrained eye could miss signs of damage, and a dead or dying tree poses a safety hazard to you, your home and neighboring properties. Even if you don't use the fireplace regularly, the chimney still needs a regular check. A chimney transports hazardous gases from the chimney, wood stove, or oven out of the house, helping to keep indoor air breathable. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, your chimney should be inspected annually and cleaned periodically depending on how often you use it.

Once the leaves fall, call your gutter company to have them cleaned and inspected. Any repairs that need to be done to gutters or downspouts must be done before winter arrives. Your workers should also inspect the roof for loose or broken shingles. Schedule work before heavy snow, which could leave leaves and debris frozen in gutters, faucets and hoses.

Before the first freeze, drain and turn off the outdoor faucets so they don't freeze. Roll up the hoses and store them for the winter. Have your oven and ducts repaired. A clean system will be more energy efficient and an inspection will alert you to problems.

Check and replace air filters, as needed. Check the thermostat to make sure it works properly. Make sure that the heating vents are open and that nothing is blocking them. If you didn't clean or inspect your chimney in spring, call a chimney sweep now and do it before you start using the fireplace or oven.

Clothes dryers cause 2,900 fires a year, and many fires occur in the fall and winter, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Lint is a major culprit, so have your dryer vent inspected and cleaned annually by an HVAC specialist who specializes in dryer ducts or vents. Jeanne Huber is the author of 10 books on home improvement.

Write a weekly column about home care for the Washington Post. In addition to 2 other mistakes you might be making. Although discrete, windows play an important role and therefore deserve regular preventive maintenance. Renee Christman, one of the best-selling real estate agencies in Madison, Wisconsin, says that preventing unwanted water from entering the home is the most important preventive maintenance task you can do.

As unexciting as it sounds, preventive maintenance will save you a lot of frustrations and headaches (and coincidentally, time and money). You can avoid a lot of drama and save a lot of money by simply setting up a calendar alert and setting aside a Sunday afternoon for basic preventive home maintenance. Preventing water damage seems like a no-brainer because most buyers don't feel good about water problems when they want to buy a home. Most of the necessary maintenance will be completed in the fall, but there are still some seasonal maintenance tasks left to prevent damage to your home during the winter.

This is a short checklist of minor home maintenance jobs that will help you avoid costly and major repairs. But just like regular dental visits and car adjustments, preventive home maintenance can save you a lot of money and even greater discomfort. Close all water valves and outdoor sprinklers before the first frost of the season to prevent pipes from breaking and being damaged. Continuing to check the exterior, appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing, security and electrical systems will help prevent breakdowns, save money and keep your home looking its best.

If you clean your gutters regularly, you have already taken the first step to prevent roof damage. .