Spring is known for spring cleaning, but it’s also smart to prepare your home in autumn before winter weather hits. By taking time to give your home a little TLC, you can help prevent some nasty surprises come next spring. This fall home checklist is a great starting point to prep your home for the coming season.
Clean gutters and down-spouts
After most of the leaves have fallen, it’s time to clean out your gutters and down-spouts. Clogged gutters can potentially cause damage to your roof or siding, so safely climb a ladder and scoop out any and all debris. You can then use a hose to force water through your gutters and down your down-spouts to further clean them out and ensure you can get a clear flow.
Like you do in the summer, it is important to inspect your roof before winter storms hit. Visually inspect for wear and tear, including missing or damaged shingles, check for leaks or gaps around skylights, pipes, and chimneys. If you notice any issues, take care of them now or hire a professional.
Clear shrubs/trim trees
If your property has trees, consider bringing in an arborist to have them inspected as this can check for poor tree health and prevent fallen limbs during winter storms. As a homeowner, you can also trim any dead trees or limbs to get ahead of a potential fallen limb, which can cause bigger problems if it lands on your home.
Service your furnace
Schedule a heating system check with a heating and cooling professional to make sure your furnace is ready to take on the winter season. Performing this maintenance before the temperature drops too low can prevent an issue before it happens. Go ahead and change your furnace filter too.
Perform exterior repairs
Walk around your property and look for any potential signs of damage to your foundation or siding. If you notice any problem areas, hire a professional to repair it. If you find any cracks, caulk as needed or apply heavy-duty hardware cloth to larger areas to keep critters out.
Turn off water valves to exterior spouts
This task can easily slip through the cracks but shutting off exterior water valves and spouts can protect your pipes from freezing. Drain hoses and bring indoors for winter to prevent damage.
Check safety devices
It’s a good idea to test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors at least twice a year. Fall is a great time to ensure they are working properly and replace batteries as needed.
Conduct an energy audit
Winter is notorious for upping your utilities cost but you can help save some cash by hiring a trained professional to conduct an energy audit on your home. This audit can recommend improvements that you can make to decrease your energy usage (for example, adding insulation to your attic or adding weather stripping to doors and windows).
Add weather stripping
You may have already done an energy audit, which would point out problem areas, but if not, ensure you have sufficient weather stripping applied around all frames of windows and doors. This will help keep the heat in and could out of your house, cutting energy costs. If you have a particularly drafty door, add a door sweep to the base to further seal it off.
This fall home checklist can get you ahead of potential problems that could arise over the winter season but the unexpected can still happen. Make sure your home is protected with the right homeowners insurance policy for you. Get a free quote for SafeAuto Homeowners Insurance brought to you by Hippo.