As we observe the leaves changing color and the temperature slowly dropping as we approach winter, it is never too early to prepare your home for the weather changes. Below are five Fall home maintenance tips to protect your home and your loved ones from the elements this upcoming winter.
Make sure to clean out your gutters.
Cleaning out your gutters from leaves, twigs, and debris helps prevent your gutters from a possible future clogging issue. Other benefits of clearing out your gutters includes preventing water damage to your foundation, prevent pests from nesting, prevent basement flooding, and extends your roof’s lifespan and protects against roof leakage.
Make sure that all batteries in your smoke and CO detectors are working.
Checking to make sure you have not passed any detector expiration dates and that the batteries are in working order could help protect your family from a fire in the future. On average, smoke detectors last approximately 10 years and CO detectors are good for about six years. This is especially important now that temperatures are changing, furnaces are being turned on, and windows are most likely being closed for the season.
Make sure to clean out your chimney and change any furnace filters.
One of the best feelings during winter is sitting by the fireplace to warm up in the cold weather. Cleaning out your chimney helps to keep you and your loved ones safe by preventing creosote and soot build-up, and catching fire. Once your chimney is clean, it will also more efficiently heat your home due to better air circulation and needing to burn more materials to provide heat. Prevent costly chimney repairs by taking the time to get your chimney cleaned properly, and keep your family and home safe.
Changing your furnace filter before firing your furnace up for the first time for the season will ensure that your home is better heated, lower your utility bills, and make your furnace last longer. Furnace filters should ideally be checked monthly, and changed regularly to prevent dirty filters, bad air flow, and costly furnace repairs.
Start trimming the grass shorter and prepare for the first snowfall.
Removal of all leaves will help your grass grow in the spring because the leaves will not be weighing down the freshly grown grass. Cutting the grass shorter reduces the chance that your yard will contract snow mold or crushing the new grass in the spring with grass that is too tall.
It is also a good idea to prepare your property for the use of your snowblower, shovel, or plow. Make sure that if you are using a snowblower, that it is in working order and will not cause any issues once the time comes to use it. Walk around your home to remove any hoses, cords, dog cables, and rocks that may get sucked up by your snowblower or caught in a plow. Also, mark off your driveway and sidewalks to make it easier to see a path when the snow is covering the ground.
Create a winter driving kit and store it in your car.
The worst feeling in the world is when the weather hits a turn for the worst, your car starts having trouble, and you don’t know how long it may take help to arrive. Here are a couple items that may help to keep in your car: a small LED flashlight, jumper cables, a shovel, a cell phone car charger, first aid kit, a warm hat and gloves, a blanket, a small tool kit with the essentials (i.e. tape, screwdrivers, wrench, and pliers), and paper and a pen just incase you need to exchange any phone numbers or write down any information.