Preparing Your Home for Fall and Winter
Homeownership comes with a “honey-do” list for every season. To keep your home in good shape during some of the harshest weather of the year, start prepping now. Checking off the tasks on this list will pay off in the long-term and help you enjoy a cozy fall and winter season.
Start From the Outside In
While the fall weather is still nice and comfortable for outdoor work, start preparing the exterior of your home. Focus on these top tasks to make sure your home stays in excellent shape for the changing seasons.
Take a Second Look
The change of seasons is a great time to inspect the exterior of your home for wear and tear. Starting with the roof, do a visual inspection from the ground to look for missing or damaged shingles. Only attempt to inspect the roof up close if you can do so safely. Second, inspect your drainage spouts for clogs. Make sure you have adequate drainage away from your home. Winter snow and moisture can tax your drainage system. Next, check your siding for any damage or holes and schedule repairs if needed. Finally, inspect trees near your home for signs of disease or limbs that may fall on your home or power lines during a storm. Prevention is key to avoiding major damage that fallen trees or limbs can cause to your home.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
Having your gutters and fireplace cleaned is routine maintenance for prepping your home for fall and winter. You’ll want to ensure that your gutters are clear of debris and nests and also check for any leaks. Keeping your fireplace in good working order is imperative for the safety of your home and family. Hire a professional to inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney each year.
As the seasons change, it’s time to store the hallmarks of spring and summer – flower pots, seasonal patio furniture, water hoses, and grills are a great place to start. If you’re storing items in a shed, take the extra time to store summer items in the back and put winter items in the front. You’ll thank yourself when you need to access your winter gear quickly!
Leave Your Lawn in Good Shape
Before you head indoors for the winter months, make sure you leave your lawn in good shape. Remove fall leaves from your yard, and take one last opportunity to fertilize your lawn to help prevent winter damage. Now is also the time to plant spring blooming bulbs!
Keep Your Home a Safe Haven
Fall and winter is the season of spending more time indoors. Keep your home safe and cozy by following these simple steps to prepare for the change of seasons.
Defeat the Drafts
A drafty home makes for an uncomfortable space and can skyrocket your energy bills. Before winter hits in full force, check for drafts around your doors and windows. New caulking and seals are a quick, inexpensive fix for an otherwise costly issue.
Schedule Routine Maintenance for the Inside Too!
Your furnace is working overtime in the fall and winter months. Have a professional inspect your unit for leaks and damage. Checking for carbon monoxide should come standard with this inspection and is important annual maintenance for your furnace. Make sure to replace the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors as well. If you use a humidifier, replace the filters and clean the unit thoroughly.
Emergency Preparedness is Key
Winter months can bring power outages and inclement weather that requires sheltering in place. Now is the time to gather your emergency preparedness supplies to avoid being caught off guard in a crisis. Here are some of the items you should have on hand for your emergency preparedness kit.
- Generator – If you have a generator, make sure to test it and have an adequate supply of gasoline on hand.
- Water – Have a 3-day supply of water on hand for each person in your household – 1 gallon per person per day.
- Food – Have a 3-day supply of non-perishable food on hand for each person in your household. Don’t forget the can opener!
- First Aid Kit – Purchase or put together a well-stocked first aid kit for attending to basic needs and injuries
- Radio – A battery powered or hand crank radio is important for receiving the latest alerts
- Prescriptions and Medications – Keep your medication filled and on hand in case of emergency
- Flashlight and batteries – Have a flashlight and extra batteries for every member of your household
- Bedding – Have a sleeping bag and extra blankets for each person in your home.
For a full list of emergency supplies that are recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Association, click here.
With a few simple steps and a little planning, you can ensure you, your family, and your home are prepared for fall and winter!