The first day of fall is this coming weekend!! It is the perfect time to get your house in shape for the cooler months ahead and one of the best times to take advantage of the moderate weather to repair any damages before the first frost sets in.
Here are some home maintenance tips that will keep your home running in peak condition all winter long.
- Check foundation for cracks and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping. Caulking and sealing openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs.
- Install storm windows and doors and remove screens. Before storing, clean and repair screens, and place in a dry area of the basement or garage.
- Inspect the roof for missing and loose shingles. Ice, rain, snow and wind combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity take a toll on roofs.
- After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. Replace damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.
- Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor. Heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer and have fewer problems if properly serviced.
- Get your wood stove and fireplace in working order. Also clean and inspect the glass door for cracks and have the chimney cleaned by a licensed chimney sweep.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
- Test and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and keep extra household batteries on hand.
- Clean your humidifiers regularly during the heating season.
- Clear leaves from lawn, reseed patchy areas, and plant spring flowering bulbs.
- Check to see that all of your snow equipment is up and running before the first flurry falls. Organize your snow clearing gear.
- Drain garden hoses and store them inside. Also shut off outdoor water valves in cold weather. Any water left in exterior pipes and faucets can freeze and expand breaking the pipes.
- Clean porch and deck furniture, and look for any needed repairs. Cover and store outdoor furniture and barbecues in a protected area.
Taking these steps yearly will go a long way to maintain your home over time and will assure that your house is ready for the cold weather that winter brings!