Getting your home ready for colder temperatures doesn’t take a lot of effort. Simple, seasonal maintenance can save you money and prevent larger headaches in the long run. Walking around your property to note the condition of gutters, roofing, siding, doors and window seals, chimney stacks, and more will help to keep your family safe and warm when winter hits.
Your Fall Maintenance To Dos
Your fall maintenance to do list can start at the top of your home. Begin with a safe examination of roofing, siding, windows and doors, and then move onto the interior of your house, inspecting the fireplace, heating systems, and ensuring safety devices are in working order. Be sure your to do list includes:
Roofing – Shingles that are buckled, cracked or missing, as well as sediment in your gutters are signs that you need to bring in a professional to repair or replace your roof. Heavy algae stains, moss or lichen growth can signal or even cause roofing decay underneath, so consider power washing while temperatures are still warmer to reveal underlying issues.
Gutters and downspouts – Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause wood rot and pest infestations, so regular cleaning of leaves and other debris is important. Ensure that water is not pooling or coming down behind gutters when it rains, as this can damage roofing, siding, foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Windows and Doors – Leaky windows and doors can raise your energy bill and allow moisture to gather inside windows and walls. Inspect windows and doorframes for cracked caulking and worn weather stripping. Use color-matched exterior caulk to seal between trim and siding, around windows and doorframes and even where pipes and wires enter your house. Replacing weather stripping is another easy DIY task, as is replacing screens with storm windows
Exterior Faucets and Hoses – Prevent exterior water pipes from bursting in freezing temperatures by turning off valves to exterior hose bibs. Be sure to the water until all the water is drained. Drain yard hoses and store them indoors.
Chimneys and Fireplaces – Regular care and cleaning of your fireplace and chimney is necessary to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Open the damper to ensure the flue is free of nests, branches, or other obstructions. Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks or mortar. Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed. Bring in a professional for an annual fireplace inspection and cleaning.
Heating Systems – Hire a professional to check that your heating system is ready for colder temperatures. Cleaning ducts throughout your home can increase a heating system’s efficiency and reduce household dust. Replace furnace and humidifier filters to increase efficiency and consider taking some simple steps to elongate the life of your water heater.
Safety Devices – Regularly testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replacing batteries as needed is important to your family’s safety. If a detector has a yellow, aged hue, consider replacing it with a new one. Check expiration dates on fire extinguishers. Fall is also a good time to check your home for radon, as cooler weather keeps windows and doors shut more often, trapping the radioactive gas inside.
Prepping your home for winter doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Many simple fixes can be done affordably on your own, while bigger, specialty jobs such as roofing repairs and heating and chimney inspections should be left to a professional.
Take care today to further protect your home with Cole Harrison’s home insurance offerings.