Winter is coming soon, and households only have a few more weeks of fall to prepare their home. With all the fun autumn activities happening, how can you care for your home in the fall to guarantee an effortless winter? Here are a few tasks that can get you started with your transition to the coldest season of the year.
1. Change Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is crucial to the health of a home, as it helps keep out bad weather. While you may not notice if your weatherstripping is defective over the warmer months, you’ll realize it as soon as the cold air sets in. Weatherstripping on doors and windows prevents cold air from leaking in, thus sealing the warmth of your home inside with you.
If you find that some of your weatherstripping is old or has rotted, replacing it is easy enough. Take a weekend to tackle all the doors and windows in your home and replace any weatherstripping in spots that need a bit of extra attention.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters before the worst of fall and winter sets in is essential in keeping your house safe from water damage. In the fall, leaves clog up your gutters and make it difficult for water to flow through freely. As such, you need to ensure that your gutters are clear before the season rolls over to winter.
If you don’t clear the leaves out before winter, you risk snow clogging your gutters and becoming much more of an issue due to the freezing and melting of the water. Your gutters may warp with the ice or be unable to handle the water and debris all at once.
If your gutters don’t operate properly, you risk water damage due to improper drainage at your home’s foundation. The average cost of a total gutter replacement is upwards of $2,000, so you likely can’t afford to neglect your gutters.
3. Inspect Your Roof
While conditions are still safe in the fall, have someone inspect your roof for missing shingles or other issues. That way, you can get a benchmark on your roof’s health and repair any problems before the cold weather sets in and leaves your home vulnerable.
4. Clean Your Fireplace
You should always clean and test weather-specific appliances before you use them the first time. If you hadn’t cleaned your fireplace and chimney since the beginning of the cold weather season last year, now is the time to do it.
Heating equipment is the cause of almost 13% of all home fires. That number seems small until you consider that one home fire happens roughly every minute and a half. You can’t afford not to maintain your fireplace and chimney, especially if you plan to use their warmth when cold weather sets in.
5. Power Wash Your Home
Cold weather is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Power washing your home during fall or before winter can make it look beautiful and sparkle for the holidays, but it can also protect your household against bacteria or mold that might live on your home.
Eliminating these irritants means keeping your family safe from allergies or potential illnesses. To have a home that looks nice for all of your holiday guests and minimize any risk of falling ill, choose to have professionals powerwash your home to get rid of any lingering grime.
6. Seal Any Cracks
Cracks in your home can prove to be dangerous in cold weather. Once you feel the chill of late fall, go around your home and check for drafts. Even the smallest cracks might end up becoming an issue later on, so it’s best to deal with them right away.
You can use caulk to seal cracks in your home that allow drafts inside as a temporary fix. Consider patching them up when you have the time and budget to ensure that you don’t run into the same issue the following year.
7. Keep an Eye Out for Pests
You aren’t the only one seeking warmth in the wintertime. Plenty of pests, such as rodents or insects, will be searching for a warm place to nest for the season, too. Insects love an environment with a consistent temperature during the cold months of winter, so detrimental ones like termites may choose to hibernate in your home. Consider having your house checked for pests if you see signs like mouse droppings or wood shavings.
8. Secure Outdoor Furniture
If you have any outdoor furniture, consider bringing it inside your garage or storing it some other way before the cold winds of late fall and early winter snatch it up. If you can’t remove the decoration, consider reinforcing its security to the ground. You don’t want your furniture to be carried away in the wind or break or crack due to cold weather.
9. Change Your Air Filters
How often you should change your air filters depends on whether you occupy the home year-round and have pets. With furry animals in the home, you should change your air filters more frequently. Without pets, you should aim to change your air filters once every season, or about 90 days. The end of fall could signal you to change your air filters to get ready for the holiday season.
10. Examine Your Lawn Equipment
As the cold weather creeps in, you should prioritize your lawn equipment. Understand what you need for the late fall and early winter, such as leaf blowers and snow shovels, and ensure there aren’t any issues that could prevent you from using them. Similarly, make sure to store your summertime equipment properly. Don’t leave weedeaters and lawnmowers exposed to the elements all season if you want them to work correctly come spring.
Prepare Your Home Today for a Better Tomorrow
Preparing for late fall and winter doesn’t have to stress you out. The sooner you complete these tasks, the easier it will be to enjoy all the fun activities winter has to offer without fear of the weather impacting your house. By learning your home inside and out, you’ll feel more equipped to prepare it for other seasons, too.