With colder weather quickly approaching, fall is the time to start thinking about steps to take in order to keep your home safe from potential damage this winter. Being a homeowner requires you to keep up on your home’s maintenance. Since fall brings a moderate temperature, it is the perfect time to take on some projects, or hire a team of professionals, to help you get your home ready for the cold temperatures that could lie ahead. You’ll want your home to be kept as safe and protected as it possibly can be when that winter weather hits. The right changes can save you money as well as protect your home. Here are some home maintenance tips that every homeowner should follow.
1. Prevent Pipes From Freezing
Any system outside your home that uses water has the potential to freeze and cause you problems during winter. So, if you have an irrigation system in the garden, you will need to prepare it properly. You can manually drain them to remove any water, and you should do the same with any outdoor taps. When you inhibit the water from freezing inside them, you also avoid the potential for burst pipes. You can also add pipe insulation to any pipes that are exposed to the cold during the winter months. This can help to stop freezing and bursts.
2. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Heavy rainfall during the fall and winter can cause damage to your home if you do not take the proper precautions. Gutters are made to keep excess water off and out of your home so rot, mold, and mildew don’t start to form. Clogs are the main reason that gutters malfunction. Throughout the fall months, it is common that your gutters will become filled with leaves and other debris. This can make it difficult for excess water to drain. If this water doesn’t empty into your downspouts, it can seep into your roof area, down exterior walls, and even into the basement. You will definitely want to make sure your gutters are clean and clear so all the rainfall can drain properly.
Downspouts also play a role in protecting your home from water damage. A downspout is where gutters route the excess water. Your downspout should be clear of debris and the water that is drained off of your roof should be directed away from your home. Ensuring that it doesn’t pool directly below. If the water pools at the base of your home it can lead to foundation damage.
Keeping gutters and downspouts clear and functioning properly will ensure the rainy season goes as smoothly as possible for you and your home.
3. Seal Windows and Doors
As the cold air begins to set in, your windows and doors should be properly sealed. Dirt, old glazing putty, worn-out gaskets, or weather stripping could be allowing drafts of cold air to enter your home. When the cold air gets in, your heating bills will rise, and you’ll be throwing money away needlessly. To prevent this, make sure that you fill in any gaps from windows or doors before the cold weather really starts to take hold. Your home will feel much more comfortable and you will save energy and money in the process.
If you find yourself spending more than usual as the weather gets colder it could be beneficial to get an energy audit done. An energy audit will assess where your home is losing the most heat and find a solution to save you money.
4. Roof Inspection
Your roof is what protects your home from the outside world. It’s something you should pay particular attention to as fall and winter approach. Start by carrying out a very simple inspection of the roof and identify any problems. Broken tiles or cracks that could let in water, need to be fixed as soon as possible.
It’s easy enough to carry out simple repairs on the roof if you have the right tools and a decent guide to follow. But if your roof has significant damage it might be a good idea to hire a professional. Hiring a professional will almost guarantee the job gets done quickly and thoroughly. Having a roof inspection done will keep the inside of your home safe as well as stop costly weather damages from happening. It will also save you from having more home maintenance in the future. Here’s a pro tip from Aspen Contracting: “To eliminate ice damming on your roof you want to make sure your roof is adequately ventilated. This means having proper intake and exhaust. Checking in your attic to ensure that the intake ventilation, usually soffit vents, are not covered by insulation.”
5. Chimney Cleaning
Fireplaces continue to be a leading cause of house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. In order to help you protect your home and health, you should have your chimney inspected by a professional at least once a year before the winter arrives. Creosote is the chemical that is found in chimneys of wood-burning fireplaces, and even a small amount of it can be very dangerous. Hiring a professional will make sure your chimney is clear of any debris such as dead leaves, branches or animals and animal nests. Preventing toxic smoke from getting blocked and stuck inside your home.
6. Inspect your Furnace
Before putting your furnace into overdrive during the cold months, bring in a professional to check it out. Some signs that your furnace needs to be inspected include the sound of squeeking or screeching from old belts. If the heat in your home doesn’t seem to be as powerful as it was in the past, a professional can likely fix that.
7. Make Sure You’re Not Housing Pests
During colder months, rodents and bugs are more likely to seek out warm places – like your home. Avoid the moment of being surprised by unpleasant visitors by having a pest control specialist visit your home. They can advise on the best ways to prevent pests from treating your home like their winter getaway.
8. Pool Winterization
Although your pool may remain unused this winter, you definitely do not want to neglect it. There are many steps that go into winterizing your pool. You will need to balance the PH levels, clean the pool and filter, lower the water level, blow the pool lines, and cover it to protect it from fall and winter debris. If you don’t feel like doing this yourself, hiring a professional could be beneficial. This will help you avoid damage to your pool and pool equipment.
The most important thing to remember when preparing your home for winter is diligence. Keeping up on your home maintenance is very important. If you see a problem with your home, don’t wait until the last minute. Find some time to fix it yourself, or call a professional and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
9. Give the yard some TLC
Prep your yard for the upcoming fall and winter seasons by removing leaves, raking up debris, and mowing the lawn. Don’t forget to continue watering your lawn as the weather cools down and consider aerating the soil to generate growth next season. Adding fertilizer and seed to your lawn before the ground freezes is another way to generate grass growth once spring arrives.
10. Make sure your snowblower works and you have shovels on hand
There isn’t a worse feeling than whipping out the snowblower after the first big dump of snow only to realize, it doesn’t work. On top of that, finding out all the snow shovels are sold out at your local hardware store doesn’t feel good either. Prepare for the first snowfall by stocking up on snow shovels and making sure your snowblower starts.