It’s officially fall, and that means it’s time to say goodbye to late summer evenings and hello to fall housework. Since the weather really hasn’t started to get chilly yet, now is a great time to get started on all of the fall prep work ever homeowner needs to do before the cold temperatures set in.
The information packed home blog at Charles and Hudson has put together a pretty thorough list of what needs to be done around the house before it gets cold. We’ll paraphrase here, but don’t hesitate to read the full article at their website.
1. Check The Gutters
Gutters ain’t glamorous, but they’re really important to the health of a home. Your home’s gutter systems divert thousands of gallons of water a year away from your home – protecting your home’s baseboards, exterior surfaces and even the foundation. In winter, properly installed and maintained gutters are even more vital as their failure can lead to serious roof damage thanks to ice damming and other factors. Make sure water is flowing through them and away from the home. For those with older homes with large trees, it’s important to make sure that leaves aren’t building up in the gutters as well!
2. Plug the Holes
Small holes can cause expensive problems for homeowners on their energy bills. Weather stripping around doors and windows can play a vital role in keeping your home comfortable and your energy bills down in all seasons. Because it does wear out, especially around doors, make sure to carefully check and replace it anywhere you find gaps or tatters. Also inspect your home’s windows for signs of small holes or other potential points for leakage.
3. Fix the Roof
Roof problems get a lot worse when you hit cold weather. First, there’s the possibility of a leaking roof which is never good because of mold, rot, etc. In winter though, there’s an added problem of escaping heat. Because warm air rises, attics tend to provide a buffer between the lived-in portion of the home and the cold air around the roof. If there’s a hole in the attic, you’re losing this buffer and going to use more heat. In addition, damage already present will usually get worse if left over the winter.
4. Repair Sidewalks and Driveways
Water is what’s called a ‘polar molecule,’ meaning that it has some odd/interesting properties. In it’s liquid state, the molecules flow freely around one another, but in a solid state (ice), they push apart from each other as their molecular ‘buzzing’ slows down. To put it simply, there’s a reason you never put a can of soda in the freezer for an extended period of time, the water in it expands as it freezes and the can will eventually explode. Think now about water that gets into cracks in your concrete, freezes and then expands – it has no choice but to push on the concrete and grow the cracks. The laws of physics literally destroy your sidewalk or driveway. Fortunately, if you catch it now while it small and fill it (which is pretty easy), you’ll save a lot of headaches down the road!
5. Keep Reading
The list over at Charles and Hudson goes on for many more pages, so to make sure you get your home fully prepared, go check it out at their site!