As the season changes, so do the needs of your home. Make sure you home is prepped for colder weather this fall by doing these 10 simple tasks!
1. Trim back branches and bushes
While raking the leaves in your yard, take the time out to trim the dead branches off the trees in your yard and clean up any large bushes. This will keep them from falling into the yard on particularly windy days and make your spring cleanup much easier. If you have large or high up branches that need trimming, hire your preferred landscaper or certified arborist to cut them down.
2. Bring summer furniture indoors
Make sure your favorite patio set lasts as long as possible by bringing it into a garage or basement for the colder months. At the very least you should protect it with a tied down tarp to keep it from warping or fading during winter.
3. Winterize your outdoor faucets
Close off any shut-off valves, drain excess water from the faucet, or upgrade to a freezeproof system to keep the pipes from freezing. Store your hoses in the garage to keep them protected and consider covering the faucet head for an added layer of protection.
4. Have your heating system looked at
Make sure your heating works before you need it! Have an HVAC specialist come and inspect your heating system to make sure you won’t encounter any problems when the time comes for you to turn it on.
5. Clean out gutters and downspouts
With windier days and leaves falling you want to keep the gutters as free from clutter as possible. Do this at the beginning of the season and the end to make sure there are no blockages in your drainage system. If you don’t want to get up on the ladder have a landscaper come and clean them out for you.
6. Caulk around doors and windows
Protect your home from any cold drafts by inspecting your doors and windows for any cracks or broken seals and caulking around the frames.
7. Clean out your pantry
This simple task can protect you from the headache of dealing with mice and other pests. Get rid of any damaged boxes and bags and throw away all expired food. Make sure you vacuum out any crumbs and wipe down the shelves to deter any hungry rodents.
8. Keep your chimney clean
“Inspect your flue for creosote, look for flue blockages, exercise the damper (the metal plate that opens and closes the flue just above the firebox), make sure that the flue cap (the screen or baffle covering the top of the chimney) is in place. Inspect brick chimneys for loose or broken joints.” (from Better Homes and Gardens). If you’re not sure what to look for have a trusted chimney sweep take a look and address any problems.
9. Inspect your roof
Look for any loose shingles and discoloration. Go into your crawlspace or attic and check for any wet spots. Follow our guide and contact a roofer if you see any potential problems.
10. Test smoke detectors
Malfunctioning heating systems, Christmas trees, and fireplaces can all be the cause of a house fire. Test your smoke detectors and make sure your fire extinguishers aren’t expired to keep yourself and your family safe in the case of an emergency. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm. If need be, install more smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to protect all areas of your home.
Think of something else that every homeowner should be doing this fall? Let us know in the comments!