Can you believe we’re approaching the end of summer? I know, it’s like it just started! While I’m in no rush to put my golf clubs away for the winter, I am in a rush to get my home ready for the cold months that will be here much sooner than I’d like. A bit of advice? You should be, too. Don’t wait until the cold weather is already here. Check out our fall home maintenance tips that’ll get your home ready for the coming months.
There’s never a great time to deal with roof issues; although, waiting until it’s cold outside is probably the worst time. Before you step foot on your roof, make sure it’s dry to prevent you from slipping. Once you’re on the roof, check for loose shingles. If you find a couple loose ones, you’ll want to replace or repair them. However, if you find more than a handful of shingles in need of repair, this could indicate a bigger issue. If you’re unsure about what to do, get a professional opinion.
While you’re on the roof, clean your gutters and consider removing any overhanging tree branches. The last thing you want is a loose tree branch falling onto your roof after a little snowfall.
You’re not paying to heat the outside, so why would you let your heat escape your home? Whether it’s a small crack in the foundation or near a window, make sure everything is sealed. While you’ll keep the cold air from making its way indoors, you’ll also prevent unwanted visitors – like mice – from entering.
The sealing doesn’t end there. Inspect your driveway for any cracks that can be repaired. The earlier you seal those cracks, the longer your driveway will last. The seal will also provide much needed protection through the winter months.
Have a professional come inspect your furnace in late August or early September. It may seem a tad too early, but you’re better off checking it off your in late summer than having something go wrong in the middle of January. Taking care of a small furnace problem up front can also save you money in the long run, instead of letting it snowball into a much more expensive issue.
Not with a power washer, either. Avoid high-pressure water outlets, which can cause damage to the wood. Instead, opt for a garden hose, soft brush and deck cleaner. You can also seal your deck, but steer clear of urethanes and paints. Keep in mind that if you go this route, you’ll need to do it yearly.
Remember to remove/cover/store outdoor furniture and grills to protect them from the harsh weather. Empty your pots and planters of soil to avoid pots from cracking in the cold.
Has it been a few years since you’ve cleaned your chimney? If so, you should call a professional. It’s recommended that you have your chimney inspected by a professional once a year. There may be structural damage they can spot and help repair. Clean your chimney regularly (hint: you should do this a minimum of twice a year), and make sure to keep it up. Remove soot and creosote buildup, which is extremely flammable.
Frozen pipes are no fun. Prevention is key, and it starts by simply making sure your pipes are well insulated. If you’ve had problems in the past with certain pipes, your best bet may be to add insulation. If you leave your house for somewhere warmer during the summer months, shut off the main water supply and set your furnace to somewhere between 55 and 60 degrees.
While we’re on the subject of water, when it comes to garden hoses, disconnect them, drain them and store them when they are no longer needed for the season. This will help prolong their shelf life.
Don’t wait for the temperatures to drop before you start prepping your home for the winter months. Follow the simple steps outlined above and you’ll get it out of the way and perhaps even save yourself some money.