Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home and Car

Category: Personal Insurance

You can never completely prevent weather and seasonal elements from causing damage to your home or vehicle. But routine maintenance in every season will go a long way toward helping you avoid big, costly problems—and having to file a homeowners or auto insurance claim.

As colder weather approaches, now is a good time to perform a few simple, routine home maintenance activities. In addition, it is a good time to get your car ready for the demanding winter driving season ahead.

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

  • Windows and doors: Check window and door frames for cracks or feel for cool air coming in. Seal leaks or cracks with caulk, weather stripping or door sweeps. If necessary purchase a plastic sheeting kit and place plastic around the windows to keep heat from escaping. Consider installing newer windows or doors if yours are aged or in bad shape.
  • Heating system: Install a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. Inspect heating ducts and vents, and clear away anything that may have gotten into them over the summer months. Have a professional tune your furnace in order to reduce temperature variations, improve air quality and protect against dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Change the air filter in your furnace every month during winter.
  •  Gutters: Inspect and clean your gutters several times during fall and before winter sets in, especially if you have a lot of trees in your yard. Direct gutters and downspouts away from the foundation and away from walkways and driveways to avoid icing that could cause slips and falls.
  • Roof: check for signs of sagging or shingles that have curled. Replace any damaged or missing shingles.

 Fall Car Maintenance Tips

  • Wiper blades: Replace your wiper blades at least once per year, in the fall. You generally use your wipers more in fall and winter, and road dirt and wiper fluid will take a greater toll on them.
  • Spare tire: Be sure that your spare tire is properly inflated to the inflation pressure listed on the side of the tire. According to the AAA, tire pressure drops one pound per square inch for every 10-degree drop in temperature, so check your tires weekly in colder weather.
  • Fluids: Washer fluid needs to be replaced with a cold-weather formula. In addition, check your antifreeze and brake fluid levels to be sure that they are adequate. Top them off if necessary.
  • Air filter: Engine air filters should be replaced at least two times per year. Dirty air filters decrease engine performance and emissions quality.
  • Battery terminals and lights: Clean battery connections if you notice corrosion. Electrical issues and ignition problems can be caused by loose or corroded battery connections. Also, regular car maintenance includes making sure that all vehicle lights are working. Replace bulbs if necessary.

What other activities do you do to get your home and car ready for fall? Have you done your fall preparation yet?

 

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