No matter where you live, there are things you do in the fall to prevent costly repairs and keep your home in good condition throughout the winter. What tasks are most important to tackle right now?
- Store mowers and prep snow removers.
- Store summer tools and prep winter ones.
- Put away patio tables and chairs, grills, and kids’ toys.
- Damaged walkways, driveways or steps can be dangerous in icy weather. Fixing crumbling asphalt or cracked cement now can prevent expensive headaches later.
- Check for window and roof leaks. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk. Repair any damaged roof shingles.
- Cut trees and shrubs away from your home, especially if snowfall might cause them to bend and rub against the house.
- Clean the gutters. This is crucial for surviving freezing and thawing cycles.
- Remove garden hose from all outside faucets. If not removed, water will lay and freeze.
- Turn off outside faucet and sprinklers. Close shut-off valves, then open the outside faucet to drain the line.
- Have the furnace inspected by a professional. Replace all filters.
- Get the chimney cleaned. Make sure all fireplaces or wood stoves are thoroughly inspected.
- Get an emergency kit ready. Include items you may need in the event of an emergency: water, flash lights and batteries, first aid kit, whistles to signal for help, basic tools, manual can opener, small supply of food, radio, candles, lighter, blankets and rope.
Performing these fall maintenance tasks can prevent costly repairs and help your home and belongings survive the long winter days ahead.