Home Maintenance Tips for Fall and Winter
As evidenced by the ads for pumpkin spice everything and the widened Halloween candy selection at the grocery store, Fall is finally upon us. Even though we are just beginning the cooler, crisp season, now is a good time to start thinking about your Fall home preparation. It is especially important to tackle some of these home maintenance items in the early Fall if you live in an area that has a cold and snowy Winter season. These tips will help keep you safe and prepared during the holiday season.
1. Clean Out Your Chimney
If your home has a chimney, chances are it’s been out of commission for a while. We highly recommend having a professional inspect and clean out your chimney. Any residual soot or build-up of deposits can easily cause a chimney fire. For the safety of you and your family, make sure to properly prepare your chimney, as well as double check that the doors and shields around your fireplace are ready to go.
2. Update Your Home Safety Features
It’s very easy to glaze over smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and other small safety features of our home. As you go down the list for your Fall home preparation, it’s a perfect time to check up on the battery life on your various home monitors.
3. Repair Your Driveway
Major cracks and damage in your driveway can only get worse once the freezing rain and snow come around. When moisture freezes, it expands, and any cracks in concrete and asphalt will only get worse. You won’t be able to fix it if there is still snow and ice on the ground and this could ultimately lead to a more costly fix by the time Spring rolls around. It is vital to patch or resurface any damages on your driveway now!
4. Seal Up Your Windows and Doors
As temperatures drop during the Fall and Winter seasons, small drafts through your doors and windows may not only affect your comfort in your home, but it can also wreak havoc on your energy bill. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to seal up your windows and doors. You can find self-adhesive foam weather stripping or clear plastic window film at your local home improvement store. They are fairly easy to install by yourself and will help your home be more energy efficient through the Winter.
5. Clear Out Your Gutters
One of the most dreaded chores of Fall home preparation is clearing out the gutters. However, it’s critical to keep your gutters clean to prevent drainage clogs that can potentially damage your home’s foundation and walls. No one wants that! If you notice leaves or other pieces of debris starting to pile up in your gutters, do not procrastinate on this task. You can get rid of big clogs by using a pressure washer, leaf blower, or even by hand while wearing heavy duty gloves. Make sure to wear protective eye gear to prevent debris from getting into your eyes! If you have older gutters, it may be wise to get a professional to see if you need to replace your gutter system. Although this may seem like a costly pain to do, it can save you money by preventing major damages to your home.
6. Put Away Outdoor Furniture
While you may not need to store away your outdoor furniture this early in the season, be sure to keep it on your Fall home preparation checklist! You may want to clean your outdoor furniture beforehand so that it will be ready for storage when the time comes. You can also do a quick check around the exterior of your home to put away smaller tools, such as hoses and other gardening items.
Photos: Marcello Luzi, Jay Greene Photography
Photos: Jay Greene Photography
7. Winterize Your Sprinkler System
If your home has a sprinkler system, it’s important to go through the process of winterizing it before the first frost of Winter. This will help prevent any frozen pipes or bursting valves. Prepare your sprinkler system for Winter by shutting off the water supply and draining the system. It can be a tricky process depending on whether you have a manual or automatic sprinkler system. If you’re unsure on how to properly winterize your sprinklers, call a professional to help you do it correctly.