Autumn is invariably a prelude to falling winter temperatures, so as fall gets closer and closer, it’s time to start preparing your home for the cold weather ahead. Don’t wait until the first snow falls to realize you still need to prepare your home for the colder months. After all, your home is probably your largest investment and protecting will give you peace of mind and a lower power bill.
There are many things in and around your home that will need attention this fall to keep it in tip-top shape as the temperatures begin to dip, especially if you live closer to the mountains. For the benefit of residents in Gainesville and North Georgia, I have put together a fall maintenance checklist that will help you get a jump start on protecting your home:
- Keep the gutters clean. Before the leaves begin to fall, have your gutters cleaned and covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning and getting clogged in the gutters. Clogged gutters can cause water to leak into your basement or damage exterior surfaces.
- Seal cracks around windows and doors. If you haven’t already, install foam insulators on all of your electrical sockets. 10 percent or more of your heating bill is likely a result of gaps in caulk, weather-stripping and uninsulated electrical sockets, so make sure you seal it up before the cold hits.
- Tackle roof problems. Roof problems can escalate from annoyances to disasters if you don’t fix them before ice and winter winds hit. This fall, inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.
- Drain and prepare outside faucets and irrigation systems. In the fall, it’s important to take steps to ensure that outside faucets and in ground irrigation systems are ready for the colder months so they don’t freeze and burst.
- Repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, etc. While damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard all year long, they become even more dangerous when the weather turns icy.
- Clean or exchange grimy furnace filters. Furnace filters trap dust, which make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and can severely increase your utility bills.
- Have your heating system inspected by a licensed professional. Keeping a gas heater in good shape is both a safety and a cost issue. An incorrectly sustained heater can emit toxins into the air of your home, and cost a fortune to operate.
- Review home safety features. Every household should perform a home safety check at least once a year. During this time, it’s important to test the smoke and CO monitors, examine the fire extinguishers, evaluate any home safety plans, and rid your home of toxic materials or potential fire hazards.
Following a routine maintenance schedule will certainly benefit you in the fall and winter seasons. Not to mention, by doing the work in the fall, you will have more free time to spend doing fun, winter activities rather than working on your home.
While making your way through this autumn maintenance checklist, if you find any home repairs needed that fall outside of your abilities, feel free to contact Tracy Tesmer for a risk-free estimate. No job is too big or too small for Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling!