It would be amazing if all you needed to prep your home for fall was hang a wreath and light a bunch of pumpkin spice candles. While yes, those are a crucial part of getting ready for the change of seasons, there are more important (and not exactly fun) preparations that come with being a homeowner.
Consider everything you need to know before your house transitions from warm summer days to cool nights to freezing temperatures.
1. Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters.
Real talk: You’re so used to your gutters working properly — and draining gallons of water from your roof yearly — that you forget they could use a little TLC. If they’re clogged, you can end up with a flooded interior and damaged exterior. So clean them, and if necessary, replace them. A little prevention can save you headaches and money.
2. Check for drafts.
Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because weatherstripping is simple and probably the most cost-effective way to keep heating costs down.
Pro tip: To check if you have a draft issue, close a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, you need to update your weatherstripping.
3. Drain your outdoor faucets.
Say it with me now: “I will turn off all outdoor faucets before winter!” Drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside spigots to prevent any water freezing.
Not doing this can result to pipes bursting, so yeah, do this.
4. Bring your outdoor furniture in.
Yes, your furniture is outdoor furniture. No, that does not mean you should test the label by leaving it outside through freezing weather and snow drifts. It costs you money and time to set that outdoor space up, so if you want to get another summer season out of it, store it in a garage or shed. If you don’t have anywhere to store the items, cover it with waterproof covers.
5. Fix any cracks in your driveway.
I know, I know — this seems tedious and is one of those things where you’re like, “eh, it’ll be fine!”.
But, it could very easily not be fine. When water gets into cracks it freezes, expands, and can make the crack even bigger. Enough small cracks can turn into big cracks, and eventually, the concrete will crumble. Plus, you’d probably prefer a driveway without a giant pothole. So, use a concrete crack sealer, fill it up and be done with it.
6. Change your filters
Ouch! Another thing in your house that might be costing you more money then it should be. If your filters are clogged, it’s harder to keep your home at the temperature you want it to be, which will increase your heating bills. Clean these filters monthly, not just before the fall, and thank me later.
FYI: Disposable filters can be vacuumed one time before you replace it, and foam filters can just be vacuumed and not replaced.
7. Fertilize your lawn.
You know what they say: The best offense is a good defense. If you want to keep your lawn looking great in the spring and summer, you need to prep it for the fall and winter. Roots are still active when the grass isn’t growing, so applying fertilizer will prevent winter damage. Doing this will also help your lawn turn green faster in the spring, which is crucial, because who wants to look at a sad lawn once it gets nice out?
8. Test winter equipment.
Hi, I’m here from the future, where your snow blower isn’t working and you’re stuck inside and can’t get your car out to buy a new one. Seriously, just check it all now, and make your life easier later.
9. Change your batteries.
Once a year you should be checking to make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices are working. Since you’re already testing everything else out, you might as well add this on.
Hope this helps and adds something to your fall/winter checklist. Feel free to contact us for all your home and property services.
Be Happy Property Services provides residential and commercial properties in Anchorage and our surrounding areas with dependable, licensed, insured, and bonded services. One call, we do it all! 907-336-7434.