Fall has a certain air to it, don’t you think? As the seasons change, it’s time to get your house ready for the coming rain, snow, and ice. The best way to avoid problems later in the season is to plan ahead and do some simple house maintenance as early as now. By doing this, you’ll be free to take advantage of everything the autumn season has to offer. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of practical things to do on your own. However, hiring a professional to do it for you will be more cost-effective in the long run, saving you both time and money.
Here are some SWEET 16 tips to help you prepare your house for the colder months ahead.
Check the roof for leaks
From the ground, you should be able to get a good look at it. Consider using a pair of binoculars or scaling a nearby structure for a better vantage point if you’re up for the challenge. Look for shingles that are loose, broken, or missing. The removal of leaves and other debris can be necessary if your roof is flat.
Make sure your gutters are clear
It’s critical to maintain the smooth flow of your roof’s drainage system, which annually diverts tens of thousands of gallons of water from the exterior and foundation walls of your residence. Clogged gutters can result in water damage to your home’s exterior and a flooded basement. They rust and corrode more quickly. Remove all debris from your gutters and cover them with mesh gutter guards before the leaves start falling this season.
Remove leaves and check the trees in your area
Examine the trees in your area. Look for broken or too close to electrical wires or the roof, damaged limbs. Meanwhile, clear the yard of leaves by raking them and then removing them. If you have access to a compost pile, use it. If this is not an option, place in yard waste bags and place at the curb for collection by the neighborhood.
Replace window and door screens
Strengthen the windows and doors of your home. Having storm windows and doors would be best as replacements for your screens. All doors and windows should have caulk and seals checked.
Schedule a pool closing service if you have a pool and live in a cold climate. If you are capable, you can buy the supplies and close your pool yourself if you know how to do this task.
Organizing your garage or shed for fall and winter is a terrific time to search through your supplies. Don’t wait for snow trouble before you find that snow shovel of yours. If you live in an area with erratic weather, be sure your snowblower is serviced and ready to go.
Manage the shed
Most often than not, we have summer items filing up our storage. It’s an excellent time to organize and clean up your shed now by rearranging and putting all summer items at the back and winter products in the front to make it easier to get the things you’d need in the colder seasons. Be sure to get rid of everything that could freeze, as well. Restore and store outdoor furniture that has been left unused over the winter. Clean the cushions by removing them and washing them—store furniture in a dry spot throughout the winter after cleaning and drying it.
Make a bundle of firewood a priority
With fireplaces in mind, it’s time to start accumulating firewood. You’ll be happy you did it when the cold weather arrives. Use dried and ready-to-use firewood if you’ve collected it yourself. Covering and storing firewood away from the home is the safest option. Outside, construct a firewood rack and a carrier for moving the wood inside. Make sure you have enough wood on hand for the entire season.
Take care of the fireplace and the chimney
The colder months would surely make you and your family spend more time together, lounging in front of the fireplace. Ensure that the fireplace and chimney are both working properly before using the fireplace. It’s highly recommended that you have a professional chimney sweep and inspection if you frequently use your wood fireplace. To avoid chimney fires, schedule a chimney cleaning appointment right away.
Make that the furnace and boiler are working properly
You should check your furnace or boiler in fall to make sure it’s ready for the cold weather. A furnace’s filters should be changed on a regular basis throughout the fall and winter. Have it inspected if necessary. By doing so, you’ll be saving money on your utility bills and have extra for shopping, maybe?
Disconnect outside spigots and drain garden hoses. Turn off external faucets and, if your house is older, the valve inside. Shut everything down. Keep hoses out of the freezer by storing them in a dry location. Follow the manufacturer’s protocol for draining and safeguarding an in-ground irrigation system from winter damage to freezeproof it.
All faucets that leave your home should have an internal shut-off valve. If the interior shut-off valve has a drain stopper, open it while the outside faucet is still turned on. The drain plug on the shut-off valve should be closed and then turn the outdoor faucet back to the off position once all of the water has been completely drained from the line. If you don’t have shut-off valves or can’t find them, hire a certified plumber to install them.
Blowout sprinkler lines and irrigation system. At this time, your irrigation system may need to be drained and checked.. Repairs should be performed by a professional, and sprinkler heads near snow removal zones should be marked. By doing this, you’ll have peace of mind during the freezing season.
Check the condition of your furnace
It would be best if you had a professional inspect your heating system once a year. Think about doing this task before winter sets in so you don’t have to rush. And while you are at it, include your furnace on the checklist too. Hire an HVAC professional to check for leaks, evaluate the heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also check for carbon monoxide for air safety. Also, keep spare air filters on hand and swap them out regularly.
During the months when it’s operating, maintaining your central humidifier will make you and your house more pleasant. To begin, look over the plates or pads and, if necessary, give them a good cleaning with a strong solution of laundry detergent. Use a wire brush or steel wool to remove mineral deposits after rinsing the area well and drying. Replace any worn-out filters and give the compartment a thorough cleaning. Vinegar is a low-cost and effective solution. Just a trivia, did you know that dry winter air makes fine wood more susceptible to cracking? So much so that dry winter air can also cause harm or irritation on our skin.
Cleaning your carpets is best done in the fall. This season is the most fantastic time to open windows and let fresh air in to help with drying. If you don’t know how to operate a carpet cleaning machine, hire a pro to do it for you.
Comfy clean bedding
Get your down and cotton comforters, linens, and knits out of the closet and give them a good cleaning. After a thorough wash, place your blankets in a handy closet so that they’re ready to go when the frigid nights arrive.
There you have it—my practical guide to prepping your home for fall. Make sure your house is ready for the next autumn season by being smart and practical. Preventative maintenance now will save you money on costly emergency repairs and other expenditures in the long run. Maintaining your house well not only increases its worth and appeal, but it also saves you time and energy.
SOUND OFF: Is there anything you’d like to add? Is there something you need help with around the house or are you planning to sell or buy a new home for the winter? If you have anything to add or in mind, please let me hear from you by adding a comment or contacting me.