We know, it’s hard to say goodbye to summer or to accept that the lazy, long warm days will soon be replaced with short, cold ones. It is best to start thinking ahead now though, because like it or not, winter is just around the corner. The good news is that you have plenty of time to get your home ready for the cold so that you can enjoy a cozy winter, no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
Here are some steps you can take now before the cold sets in.
Clean the gutters
Cleaning gutters isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. While many homeowners only think to do this in the spring, it’s a good idea to do it before fall rains come as well. So clean the gutters and check the downspouts to make sure that all run-off is directed safely away from your home. This protects your home’s foundation, and your bank account, from water damage.
Clean the chimney
A crackling fire is always welcome in the winter, but fireplaces require upkeep and maintenance in order to operate safely. If you have a fireplace, schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning before the first fire is made. And while we’re a fan of do-it-yourself work, this is one thing best left to experts! Schedule it soon though, because this is a busy season for those in this line of work!
Turn off the water
It’s important to winter-proof everything in your home that comes in contact with water before the first freeze. Start off by draining your hoses and storing them inside. Next, turn off the water to any outdoor spigot, drain the pipes, and insulate the hose bib. You can buy outdoor spigot insulation kits or hose bib covers from any hardware store. Inside pipes also need some help too. You can winter-proof them by insulating the ones nearest outside walls, in the basement, or other cold areas.
Check your foundation
Fall is a good time to inspect your foundation, walls, windows, and doors and deal with any gaps and cracks that you find. Start by going around your home’s exterior to identify suspect areas. Small gaps and cracks can be filled with approved sealant found in a well-stocked hardware store. Please remember, if you see large cracks or have any questions, consult a professional—you don’t want to make a costly mistake.
Seal the house
Windows and doors can allow cold air to sneak into your warm home. Take a look around every entrance and every window to see if there are any gaps that need to be sealed. Remember, even small gaps can create drafts. If you need some help, most hardware stores have weather-proofing kits that can make this an easier process.
It sounds like plenty of work, but getting your home ready for the fall now will save you time, energy, and even money this heating and cooling season. Don’t forget though, if you’re not sure how to do something, call a pro for help – there’s just too much at stake.