- Respect Your Roof
At least once a year, you should inspect your roof thoroughly for any damaged or missing shingles. Before the weather gets too cold, and snow piles up, is a great time to ensure your roof is in tip-top shape. If your roof is over five years old, it’s a good idea to have a professional come and inspect it annually. Staying on top of small roof problems with regular maintenance can help you to avoid expensive roof repairs and replacements in the future.
- Check Your Gutters
Ensure you take the time to check on your gutters before the weather turns chilly. Gutters need to be cleared of all debris, like leaves and twigs, regularly. Failing to clean your gutters frequently can cause an array of potential problems including wood rot, drainage issues, and infestations of certain pests. If you have gutters that are particularly high or hard to reach, consider hiring a local professional to tackle this project.
Pro Tip: If your home is located on a lot with many trees, or other features that cause an abundance of debris, consider installing gutter guards to stay on top of problematic gutter issues.
- Store Lawn Equipment and Furniture
Make sure you take the time to properly store, cover, and put away your outdoor lawn equipment and seasonal furniture. Winterize your lawn mower by draining or stabilizing the fuel. If your mower is battery operated, bring the battery inside and store it in a dry place. To protect and prolong the life of your outdoor furniture, like chairs, tables, and firepits from winter weather, consider moving them into your garage if you have space. If not, pick up some high-quality furniture covers to keep your furniture dry and safe from the elements.
- Seal cracks
Take some time to walk around your home paying special attention to your windows and doors. If you live in an older home or one in disrepair, you may need to replace any damaged door and window frames. For general maintenance, consider caulking or installing weather-stripping to your doors and windows to prevent drafts which may lead to costly heating bills. Also, be sure to check any cracks around the exterior of your home, like areas where electrical wires or plumbing enter the home, and seal any cracks you may find during your inspection.
- Service Your Furnace
Keep your home toasty all winter long by giving your furnace the love it needs. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a professional inspect your furnace, consider having someone come out before the holidays to ensure everything is in working order. Having your furnace inspected regularly is a good way to prevent pricey, surprise repairs. At a minimum, you should plan to change the air filter in your furnace and clean your ducts to increase the efficiency of your furnace.
- Check smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
The changing of seasons provides an excellent opportunity to do safety checks around your home. An extremely important safety check to add to your list is that of your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Take the time to change the batteries in both your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and keep some extra batteries on hand just in case you find you need them – no one enjoys the constant beeping of a smoke detector with dying batteries!
- Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney
Schedule a professional to come out and thoroughly inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney, especially if it’s been a few years since you’ve made this a priority, or if you’ve just moved into a new home. If you typically use your fireplace frequently during the winter months or plan to, you should have your fireplace cleaned annually to lessen the risk of hazardous fires.
Pro Tip: Ensure your fireplace flue seals correctly and tightly to avoid drafts. If you’re unsure as to how to inspect this, a chimney sweep will be able to assist you.
- Show Your Lawn Some Love
Rake and clear the leaves from your lawn to prevent rot and dying grass patches. To prepare your lawn for the spring, fertilize and reseed your lawn in the fall before the ground becomes too cold. Prune leaves and branches off appropriate trees and shrubs to encourage new spring growth and consider mulching your plants that need protection from the cold. Trim tree limbs that could fall on your house or any power lines on your property. If you aren’t experienced in tree trimming or removal, be sure to call a professional to come out and inspect your trees.
Your home keeps you warm and dry all winter long, so be sure to show it the respect it deserves by giving it a thorough check-up seasonally. You’ll be glad you’ve taken the time to perform the preventative maintenance your home needs to stay in its ideal condition. Get to work soon completing these tasks and once you’ve checked them off your to-do list you can settle in and enjoy the holidays without your home’s health weighing on your mind.