Essential Tasks for Every Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Prepare your house for the changing temperatures of winter. The schedule below will ensure your home is ready for the subzero temperatures by taking a look at the heating systems, water systems, and energy efficiency. Depending on your house and region, some tasks may have a greater value. Some may not not be applicable at all. Try to focus on what is relevant to you.
Chimney Sweep and Fireplace Inspection
An absolute must is a fireplace inspection and a chimney sweep, if applicable. Over time creosote builds up on the interior of the chimney from smoke. It happens to be a highly flammable byproduct and can start a chimney fire with an ignition source. A lot of small chimney fires occur without the homeowner even realizing!
Gas burning fireplaces burn much cleaner and should only require an inspection each year. But, a wood burning fireplace needs to be inspected and cleaned each year. Check the flashing around the chimney if you perform the sweep from the roof (i.e. top-down method). The brick and mortar should be inspected for cracks, too
At the fireplace do a quick inspection and cleaning. Visually check for cracks and smoke marks. Cracks should be repaired by a professional. Smoke marks could indicate blockage in the chimney (e.g. bird’s nest). Remove smoke marks with a homemade cleaning solution of vinegar and water.