Fall Preparation

The last thing you may be thinking about is getting your home ready for the harsh weather of winter. By doing these chores while the weather is nice will prevent you from having problems that you will have to deal with in colder temperatures. This may also prevent you from having to spend a lot of money on major repairs.

Start outside. As the leaves begin to fall you will want to keep your gutters and downspouts cleaned out. Any buildup can lead to serious leaks. You will want to inspect your roof for any missing or loose shingles that can lead to leaks.

If you have a chimney and are planning on using it during the winter than it is imperative that you make sure that it is clean and clear of debris. A dirty chimney can be dangerous and lead to fire danger.

Go around and search for leaks around any doors or windows. Replace any weather stripping or caulk up any gaps to prevent costly drafts. You also want to find any places that bugs or rodents may be able to enter. Once the cold weather arrives bugs and rodents search for warmer places.

Prepare your lawn for winter by fertilizing and seeding your yard. This will keep your yard healthy over winter and give you a jump start on spring. Prune any tree branches that are not healthy or are near power lines or windows. Heavy snow can cause the branches to snap leading to more problems.

Inside you will want to inspect your heating system. Start by replacing your furnace filter. You may also want to contact your heating utility provider to send out a technician to do an annual inspection. There is a small charge for this service but it is worth it to know that your unit is running effectively. Also take an attachment and vacuum out your vents and registers to keep them clear of debris.

If you have a sump pump it is a good idea to make sure it is running properly. If you were to get a lot of snow in the winter you will want to make sure your pump is working for the spring thaw.

Before the season’s first frost you will want to shutoff the water supply to your exterior faucets. Make sure you round up your hoses and store them in a dry place away from the cold. This can be an overlooked chore and one that can lead to a lot of problems. Frozen pipes can burst causing flooding and major repairs and cleanup.

Cracks in your driveway or sidewalks will only get worse over the winter. If you have serious cracks you may want to replace them now to avoid major repairs in the spring.

We may be a couple months away from the freezing temperatures, but it is a good idea to take care of these issues now so you don’t have to patch a leak in freezing weather. Or even worse, having to hire someone to make the repairs for you.

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