The cold weather will be here before you know it, so it's important to get started on your Fall Maintenance Checklist! There's a lot to be done, so where do you start? Here’s a short list of items to focus on, so you can help protect your home from the harsh Winter elements.
Gutters & Downspouts
Wait until most of the leaves have fallen, so you don’t have to do this twice! A ladder, bucket, and gloves are all you need. Removing leaves and other debris from your downspout is extremely important. Clogged gutters can cause ice dams, which can cause serious damage to your roof and siding. While you’re up there, feel free to tighten any brackets and hangers to prevent sagging.
Windows & Doors
Caulking air leaks in siding, trim, windows, doors, and even where pipes enter your house can help save you money. Caulking is inexpensive and easy to use. It helps prevent moisture from entering your home and keeps warm air trapped inside. Remove and replace any damaged weather-stripping around windows and doors (including the garage door).
Test out your heating system BEFORE winter hits. Clean or replace your furnace filters every 2-3 months. This simple step to protecting your home can save you money on your heating bill and can help protect your furnace from failure. If it has been awhile, have your air ducts cleaned to improve air quality and furnace efficiency. Replace the batteries in your thermostat.
Turn off the main valve to your outdoor water spigots. Remove hoses, and then drain any remaining water from the spigot. When winter comes, any remaining water can freeze, expand, and crack your pipes.
Mice, squirrels, and other pests will try to find warmth as soon as cold weather hits. It’s important to walk around the exterior of your home and seal off any places they could get in. Check your attic and gable vents. Many homeowners place screens over the vent to prevent critters from crawling inside.
Note: An adolescent mouse can fit through a hole the size of a pen. An adult mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Don’t overlook any hole, or you’ll spend the winter with several unwanted guests.