With cooler weather just around the corner, it’s a good time to get a list of to-do items together. Here are a few items you can take care of this fall to help keep your home nice and cozy throughout the winter:
Inspect Your Siding and Roof
Fall is the perfect time to take a close look at the entire exterior of your home. Start by inspecting the siding for any scratches, dents, or more serious damage. Depending on the siding material, you may or may not be able to make the necessary repairs yourself. Your roof is a little trickier to inspect, but a little attention to detail could help avoid a major winter catastrophe. If you see shingles curling along the edges, or missing entirely, it’s time for some quick repairs. Another place to thoroughly check is along any vents or chimneys. If the flashing is pulling away from any corners, it’s time to replace it to stop future water damage in your home. If your area saw hail or heavy storms this spring or summer, consider having a roofing company or your insurance company inspect the roof for any possible hail damage. If hail damage is found, there’s a possibility you could have the roof replaced at a drastically reduced cost due to insurance coverage.
Store the Mower – Prepare the Blower!
One of the more important steps to take is to drain the fuel from your lawnmower or treat the remaining fuel with stabilizer, and get it stored for the winter. Any untreated fuel that remains in the gas tank of your mower will begin to evaporate throughout the winter, and could cause serious issues for the motor come spring. Once your mower is stowed away for winter, fire up your snowblower and make sure it’s still in good shape. Don’t just fire it up and move on, actually test the impeller and auger. This will save you lots of time, money, and headaches once the first snowfall hits.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are both your best friend and worst enemy. After the leaves start to fall, your gutters will quickly start to take a beating. It’s important to get up there and get everything cleaned out. Besides removing the debris, spray a hose all along the gutters to thoroughly clean everything out. Make sure to spray the hose straight down the downspout in order to clear the downspouts out as well. With your gutters cleared, you’ll be much better prepared for any impending snowfall, and have a better chance of preventing the development of ice dams, which can wreak havoc on your home’s interior if left unchecked.
Inspect Utilities and Infrastructure
There are some very important elements keeping things humming along on the inside of your home, and it’s a good idea to take a thorough look at all of them when the seasons change. The first major piece is the furnace. Change out any air filters, clean and maintain any dehumidifiers, and it never hurts to have a qualified furnace service technician take a look for any issues. Next, turn off the water to any external spigots, drain the lines, and protect the spigots themselves with foam covers through the winter. Last but not least, fall is a great time to clean the air conditioner by removing any debris inside the unit or in the fins, straighten any dented/bent fins, and then finish it off by covering the entire unit for the duration of the winter.
Now that you have most of the bigger outside items taken care of, it’s good to look at any areas in your home where cold air could leak in. Cracks along windows and doors are prime spots for cold air to make its way in, and this can be solved with some weatherstripping and caulk. Replacing window and door weatherstripping is a great start, but sealing your windows with a fine bead of caulk will help reduce your energy costs and keep the interior of your home toasty.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Our final point is an important safety reminder: check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. An often overlooked but vital task, checking your detectors and replacing their batteries is essential in the fall. With your home being more enclosed during the cold months, carbon monoxide becomes more of a possible danger if you have a gas-operated stove, furnace, or dryer. For the sake of you and your family, it’s worth a small cost of some batteries to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible.
As you get your wardrobe ready for winter, take some time to make your home is prepared for the change in seasons, too. Many items on this list can be completed without professional help, but if the task is too big for you to do alone, contact the professionals at Select Home Exteriors. We’re happy to help!