Tackle these tasks before fall hits to be sure you are ready for the arrival of cold weather. No matter how much you love the fall weather, you probably don’t want to be outside in the late fall when the cold weather starts rolling in, still working on cleaning out your gutters. Here are a few tips to get your home ready for fall before it hits us all hard.
On the Exterior:
Clean out your gutters: Even though it seems like it probably isn’t a big deal, cleaning your gutters will really help prevent problems later on in the fall and winter – and while you are up there – think about checking shingles and chimneys etc for signs of damage.
Outdoor Plumbing: Turn off all outdoor plumbing features and drain them of all water. You may even want to consider covering them if the climate in your area is extra cold and frigid.
Create a Compost: Throwing leave in a bin during the fall will make a world of difference when spring planting season comes.
Clean and Put away Outdoor Furniture: Even if you aren’t totally ready to put away your outdoor furniture, make sure it is clean and ready to be put away so that it will be ready for storage when you are. (Save your hands the cold air time by doing it now.)
Plant for Spring: This time of year is the perfect time for planting spring bulbs.
On the Interior:
Furnace Prep: It’s time to prep your furnace for winter and colder weather. A visual inspection is the least you should do to prep your furnace. However, many times it will need a filter replacement.
Along with the furnace prep, you will also want to check out your fireplace and chimney if you have one. Now is also the time to stock up on Firewood.
Insulate Windows and Doors: Check seals/weatherstripping on all windows and doors. If weatherstripping and insulation is not doing it’s job properly you will be able to slide a piece of paper back and forth or feel a slight air flow coming through the door or window. If this is the case, you may want to update to properly keep all warm air inside, and all cold air out. you should also re-caulk windows and door frames if needed.
Light up the Room: Winter months are long and gray and can cause seasonal depression for many people. Clean windows and blinds so that you can get as much natural light as possible into your rooms. If you are someone that suffers from seasonal depression (or lack of vitamin D from the sun) you may want to get a natural light fixture to help the room stay well lit and give off the feel of natural sunlight which often helps with seasonal depression.
Create a Mudroom or Entryway Area: Even if you don’t necessarily have space for a mudroom. Winter, especially in areas that get a lot of rain and snow are often muddy and constantly wet. We recommend creating a designated area for removal of wet winter jackets, boots and shoes – even if the area is only a few square feet in the entryway or garage area of your home. You can do this more efficiently by adding an indoor/outdoor rug to your “mudroom area” no matter where you decide to put it.
Do a Home Safety Check:
The majority of you won’t be a safety expert, but there are plenty of checks you can do on your own that will help keep you safe over the winter months. The following is a small list of things you can do on your own:
- Check Smoke alarm and Carbon Monoxide monitors and batteries
- Create a family escape plan in case of fire. Review yours if you already have one.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit in case of power outages. (Include ready to eat food, water, warm blankets, clothes and socks and flashlights or candles.)