Is Your Home Ready for Fall?

By: Vaughn Greene Funeral Services
Sunday, October 8, 2017

It’s time to prepare your home the cooler temperatures and unpredictable weather that come with fall and winter.

The preventative maintenance you perform now can save you money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Here are ten things you should now do to ready your home for the cold weather that lies ahead:

  1. Clear out the gutters. Remove leaves, nests, and other debris to prevent clogging.
  2. Check water drainage. Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
  3. Turn off faucets and store hoses. Drain garden hoses and disconnect from the outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze.
  4. Inspect your landscaping. Have tree branches trimmed, particularly those that are damaged, that are too close to your roof or power lines, or that overhang your driveway. Cool weather is often accompanied by strong winds, and the last thing you need is for a tree to come crashing down on your car or roof.
  5. Clean the fireplace and chimney. You can clear out ash and charred wood from the fireplace yourself, but leave the chimney cleaning to a professional. Have the chimney cleaner check the damper to ensure it can be tightly closed to prevent drafts. Even gas fireplaces need their chimneys cleaned and inspected to ensure there are no bird or squirrel nests blocking the flue, and that the chimney pipe is free of cracks that can allow smoke to enter your home.
  6. Check your heating system. Do a survey of your home’s heating vents to make sure they’re not blocked or covered by furniture, carpeting, or curtains. Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety.
  7. Winterize air conditioners. If your home has central air conditioning, cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, dust and clean them before storing.
  8. Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of your windows and doors. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames.
  9. Put up storm windows. If you have removable screens, it’s time to clean, store, and replace them with storm windows.
  10. Perform a roof check. With the help of some binoculars, you should be able to do a visual inspection of your roof from the ground. Be on the lookout for missing, damaged, or loose shingles.
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