With cooler temperatures knocking, now is the time to prepare your home for fall weather. Utilize this checklist to ensure you’ve got every corner of your house covered inside and out so your autumn months can be entirely focused on sipping on your PSL.
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1. Prepare your pipes
Circumvent frozen pipes by wrapping any exposed areas with heat tape. Frost-proof spigots with a faucet insulator and shut off any unnecessary water supply.
2. Roof repair
Autumn is the season for high winds, heavy rains and even snowstorms. With that being said, it is pertinent that you check your roof for curling, loose or missing shingles. Be sure to pay extra attention to roof valleys, as this is where rainfall and snow tend to collect. Replace any missing or damaged shingles to avoid a potential collapse. If you have a tiled roof, search for cracked or chipped tiles and replace as needed.
3. Get in the gutter
Since the gutters are likely to get a lot of action in the fall and winter months thanks to falling leaves, you’ll want to clean them out before it becomes a problem. Walk gutters near the ground and on the roof starting near the downspout, and remove leaf pile-up with use of a trowel or shovel. Once complete, check that rivets and gutter spikes are secure and replace any that have washed away or seem to be loose. Pressure wash for an extra-clean gutter area, paying attention to any potential leaking.
4. Seal ‘er in
With potential snow and below-zero-degree winds, it is important to check your windows and doorways for possible leaks or cracks in the class or gaps in seals, as an inefficiency can account for a 10 percent increase in your heating bill. Pay extra attention to the foundation in your home, as this is where critters are likely to sneak in searching for warmth. (It may also be wise to set traps in the basement to avoid an infestation.) Caulk and weather-strip areas as needed.
5. In with the old, out with the new
As hard as it is to admit, summer is officially over. Freshen up your garage and storage shed to make way for summer gear storage including your beloved deck furniture and pool rafts, while making your fall and winter home improvement needs accessible (rake, snow shovel, etc.). Drain and coil garden hoses to prolong their life and avoid potential pipe bursts in the winter.
6. Prep your deck
Sunshine can take quite the toll on your precious deck. Sand down any splinters, repair damaged boards and reseal to protect for rain and snowfall.
7. Exterior excellence
The exterior of your home is likely to see a lot of action in the cooler seasons of the year. Inspect exterior walls for chipped paint, blisters or cracks. Fix prior to the autumn months to avoid a larger problem come spring.
8. Heating up
Like anything in your home, your furnace can accumulate quite a bit of dust throughout the year. To help maintain its efficiency, vacuum out your furnace’s filter system, blower and motor and replace any required filters. It is beneficial for your HVAC system’s durability to remove any particles utilizing a vacuum attachment. It may also be favorable to invest in a professional cleaning.
9. Sweeping for Santa
Chimneys are an especially important cleaning task to check off your to-do list, as a dirty chimney is a potential fire hazard. Schedule a professional chimney sweep to clear out any debris, rodents or built-up creosote.
10. Exchange your doors
If you live in a cooler climate, it may be appropriate to switch out your screen door for a storm door. Gently wipe the screen clean and repair any damage prior to storing in a safe spot in your home.
11. Switch your blades
A common preparation for the chillier seasons is to change the direction of your ceiling fans. In the warmer months, your blades are best turning counter clockwise or forward to blow the cooler air down. In the fall and winter, you want the blades to turn clockwise or backward to draw air up toward the ceiling and thrust warm air down.