Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to ready your home for the colder months ahead. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your house in peak shape:
- Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets and turn off valves to exterior hose bibs to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Drain hoses and store them indoors.
- Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts to improve drainage and protect against ice dams.
- Trim and prune tree limbs and shrubs to maintain the health of the tree or plant and reduce the risk of property damage or injury.
- Seal cracks and gaps around doors and windows with caulk and weather-stripping to prevent heat from escaping.
- Inspect your roof for damaged, loose or missing shingles and repair or replace them immediately. Also, check the flashing around chimneys and skylights for rust and leaks. If you spot significant damage, and your roof is old, consider having it replaced.
- Have a licensed heating contractor inspect and clean your furnace or heating system to ensure optimal performance. Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly.
- Schedule a professional chimney sweep to clean the fireplace flue, remove any obstructions and ensure the damper is working properly.
- Replace batteries in CO and smoke detectors and test the alarms. Check the expiration dates on your fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
Performing routine fall maintenance improves the appearance of your home, boosts energy and heating efficiency, and helps you avoid costly repairs and insurance claims later on.