Winter’s coming – and, no, we don’t mean it’s time for a new season of Game of Thrones. While the end-of-August hot temperatures may have you thinking summer is here to stay forever, autumn really is just around the corner. It’s time to do a little maintenance to prepare your home for the coming season. Here’s the rundown of what you should accomplish in the next month or two.
Inside your home
Fall and winter bring cooler temperatures, so it’s time to make sure the inside of your home is ready for the switch. These are the chores you should consider tackling:
- Save some money on heating costs this winter by sealing leaks around doors and windows with weather stripping and caulk.
- Have your furnace and heating system checked by a professional and change furnace filters. Consider signing up for an annual maintenance contract, which could save you money on maintenance visits.
- Check your fireplace or woodstove. Look inside the flue to make sure the damper is functioning properly and that it is free of debris or nests. Have built up creosote cleaned by a professional.
- Change batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clean humidifiers – bacteria can develop if the water in the tank is dirty.
Outside your home
The weather can be especially harsh in the winter, so make sure the exterior of your home is up for the challenge by performing these chores:
- Use caulk to seal cracks around windows and doors and where trim and siding meet.
- After leaves have fallen, clean your gutters. Replace any gutters or downspouts that are worn or sagging.
- Inspect your roof. Replace missing shingles and check flashing around pipes, chimneys and skylights.
- Remove window A/C units or cover them with an insulating wrap.
- Clean and store your lawn mower. Drain or add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank before putting it away.
- Remove hoses from outdoor faucets and turn off shutoff valves that supply exterior faucets. Drain the hoses and store them.
- Drain your irrigation system if there is danger of the buried lines freezing, which can cause them to burst.
- Remove screens from windows and install storm windows. Clean and repair screens before storing.
- Inspect your sidewalks and driveway for cracks and repair with filler.
- Clean porches and decks, including furniture. Check for any needed repairs and store furniture and grilling equipment in a protected place.
- Clean and organize the garage and install weather stripping around the garage door.
- Clean leaves from the yard and prune plants and trees. Be sure branches are at least three feet from the house so water doesn’t drip onto the house.
- Divide and move perennials and plant spring-flowering bulbs. Remove dead or dying annuals.
- Add a fresh layer of mulch in garden beds.
- Aerate your lawn and re-seed patchy areas. Spread fertilizer.
While it might seem like this is a lengthy to-do list, regular maintenance and repairs each season will go a long way to make sure your home stays in the best shape possible. Tackle a project or two each weekend and by the time the holidays are here, you can relax and enjoy!