Angie's List Offers Homeowners 9 Home Maintenance Tips for Fall

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Angie's List data shows 22 percent of homeowners fail to perform routine home maintenance. Making a list of items to check around the home each month or season can really benefit homeowners.

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Making a list of items to check around the home each month or season can really benefit homeowners

Angie's List (http://www.angieslist.com)], a consumer organization that helps homeowners nationwide find reliable help in more than 280 categories of service, conducted a poll of its members and found that nearly a quarter of them don't keep up on routine home maintenance. Of those that don't keep up, 44 percent say they just don't know what to check and when. Of those that do keep up, nearly 70 percent say their efforts save them money.

Putting off routine home maintenance nearly always results in headaches, wasted time and sometimes major expenses. While it's called "routine" maintenance, many homeowners don't know where to start when trying to plot a home maintenance course.

"Making a list of items to check around the home each month or season can really benefit homeowners," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. "Our poll found 78 percent of respondents take steps to maintain their home. Of those respondents, 68 percent say it's helped them save a few bucks down the road on repairs."

Angie's List went to the experts to develop a fall home maintenance checklist to help homeowners do what it takes to keep those home-related headaches at bay.

  •      Continue to mow your lawn until the first frost. Remove the leaves when your grass has stopped growing.
  •      Those falling leaves will eventually clog your gutters and downspouts. Not cleaning your gutters can damage your homes foundation. Schedule gutter cleaning with a professional before winter arrives.
  •      Clean your outdoor furniture, and refinish it if necessary, to prevent rust and damage from freezing. If you store your outdoor furniture inside for the winter (which is recommended, if at all possible) allow for some airflow. Encasing the furniture tightly in plastic could lead to moisture damage.
  •      Schedule any indoor painting you need done. The weather is usually ideal for leaving windows open for ventilation.
  •      Properly discard or store paint, caulk or adhesives in a heated area to prevent them from freezing. Call your local hazardous material removal service for instructions on discarding products that could be toxic. Drain all gasoline containers, including lawn mowers and other gasoline-powered tools.
  •      Check insulation in your attic, basement and other areas for any dirty spots, which often indicate air leaks into or out of your home. If you find any holes, seal them with caulk.
  •      You can save 10 percent or more on your energy bill by reducing air leaks in your home, so take a look around for drafts around doors and windows and seal those you find. One easy way to test for air leaks is to hold a lit stick of incense around windows and doors. Drafts will cause the smoke to drift with the current. Pay special attention to any airflow beneath your doors, as opening and closing often causes door sweeps to wear out.
  •      With dark days ahead, exterior lighting is very important. Check all your bulbs and consider using timers to turn lights on at dusk and off in the morning.
  •      Before you light the first log, get your chimney cleaned and make any necessary repairs. Fireplaces that are used regularly during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent chimney fires.

*1,334, Angie's List members took our poll. Responses are representative of Angie's List members, but not the general public.

Angie's List is where consumers turn to get the real scoop on local contractors and companies in more than 280 different categories. Currently, more than 600,000 consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie's List to help them find the right contractor or company for the job they need done. Members have unlimited access to the list via Internet or phone; receive the Angie's List magazine, which includes articles on home maintenance and improvement, consumer trends and scam alerts; and they can utilize the Angie's List complaint resolution service. Get more home maintenance information and consumer tips at http://www.angieslist.com. Learn more about Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks, at http://www.angiehicksbowman.com

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Cheryl Reed
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