We know it can be hard to say goodbye to the long, lazy days of summer, but fall is just about here. In fact, September 23 is the official first day of fall, which means cooler days are just around the corner. If you’re a homeowner, then you have to do more than pull out the long sleeves to get ready. A little preparation will make sure that your home is ready for the changing temperatures and potentially harsh winter ahead.
This checklist can help you stay nice and cozy no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.
Seal gaps and cracks
Mice and other critters seek warmth and food, especially when the weather turns. Sealing up gaps can help keep them outside and your warm air inside. Check for cracks and gaps in covers, under sinks, in utility areas, and basements.
Freezing water is very damaging, so shut off your exterior faucets and consider installing an insulating cover. These are available at hardware stores and can provide an extra layer of protection.
Clean the gutters
With fall and winter comes precipitation, which means your gutters and downspouts will soon be hard at work. Make sure they are free of debris so that they can handle the job and protect your house. While you’re at it, make sure that downspouts direct runoff well away from your foundation.
Installing weatherstripping around your windows and doors is a simple way to keep out the cold and improve your home’s comfort. This can also help cut utility bills. Door sweeps applied to the bottom of exterior facing doors are also an inexpensive but effective way to beat the cold.
Store your tools
Lawnmowers and other types of power equipment should be stored before winter comes. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for long-term storage. You should also find a secure place to store your rakes, hoses, and other yard equipment. Check on them periodically to make sure they are safe and dry.
If you have a chimney, then you should have it cleaned and inspected. This is also a great time to have your HVAC system inspected so that it is in tip-top condition long before winter hits. And remember, home maintenance requires ongoing effort. Throughout the season you’ll want to keep an eye on things to make sure things are working properly.