Autumn Home Care Tips: Preventative Maintenance Guide for Preparing Your Home for the Winter Weather
Every year, at the turn of the season, your home will be facing an often sudden drop in temperature and some adverse weather conditions – not to mention a lot of indoor living and the burden your house will endure from the harsh winter weather. If you want to keep your home in top condition and ready for the coming winter, you will need to be able to prepare it for what comes ahead. To do that, however, you will need to be properly ready, so know that these repairs may cost you a bit. But these preventative maintenance ideas and tips are well spent home care tasks, and all for a good reason. You would do well to focus on that now, rather than face issues you may not have known about later down the line. These tips will give you some pointers on making it happen.
Your roof is one place that happens to be forgotten all too often during the maintenance tasks that need doing around your home, so you need to make sure you don’t forget to deal with its maintenance and that all works well around it. Clear out any leaves that happen to block the room and its gutters or hire a company to do it for you. This is a necessary step if you want to have water flowing as it should during rains and when the snows start melting. Cleaning the roof should be one of your top priorities. Check the flashing around your chimney as well and around any skylights if you have them. Check out ASAP Roofing‘s blog for more about roof maintenance.
Preventing Ice Dams
Each and every year we get calls to fix damage caused by ice dams. A properly-flowing gutter and drainage system is a great way to prevent this, but here’s something most homeowners don’t know about… A properly insulated attic can do a lot to prevent the occurance of ice dams. Let’s explain. When your attics are not properly insulated then their ceilings are subject to the rising heat of your indoor climate control. This heat causes the melting, refreezing, melting and refreezing of the snow on your roof. That melted snow carries debris and over the course of the winter it leads to congestion in your gutters and, ultimately, an ice dam. An ice dam can most easily be identified by long icicles hanging from your gutters. The water will always find a way behind the siding, into your home, and will cause insulation, drywall and paint damage to your home’s interior. We can fix it for you, to be sure – but you can avoid that costly repair by shelling out a few dollars and having your attic properly insulated this autumn, before the weather gets too cold. Click here to contact us about insulating your attic.
Do you have a wooden deck that’s become weathered and old? Have it refinished to protect it from the harsh elements of winter and prolong its life. If the coating on your home’s wood siding is cracked, faded or peeling in places then consider an exterior paint or stain job: exterior paint and stain is the skin that protects your home – make sure it’s in good shape! Rotted molding or trim on the exterior of your home must be replaced before winter comes along or it will almost certainly lead to more costly repairs.
You’ll also want to make sure your doors and windows are properly caulked and sealed before the temperatures start to drop. The smallest of cracks or gaps between your doors’ and windows’ trim/casing and jambs can lead to huge energy losses over the course of the winter. Click here to learn more about properly sealing air leaks. In many cases you can literally feel the draft of cold air coming into the home. You’ll want to fix that air leak with either caulking or weather-stripping. Talk to your local home improvement, maintenance and repair contractor to find out how to stop these money-wasting, energy-consuming leaks and keep your home heated properly when the temperatures start to drop.
Checking Around the Exterior of Your Home
Before you have the first snows making things difficult for you, or your place is covered by falling leaves, you will need to check your walkways for cracks and any loose debris. Cleaning that area and making sure it is in good repair will ensure easier snow removal during the winter. Fix things as best as you can or else the expanding ice during the cold winter months may create more cracks in your walkways and outdoor areas.
Changing Your Air Conditioning Filters
If you have a central air conditioning system, you will need to keep it well-maintained by cleaning and changing the filters it has as often as you need to. If you happen to have a window unit, the same thing needs to be done, as well as giving it a waterproof cover to prevent any damage during the winter or strong rains. Change your stove vent filters as well and those in your clothes dryers and check the functionality of your fans if your home has any. All of this will help ensure proper climate control in your home and will ultimately save you money on your utility bills.
Fixing the Plumbing
A burst water pipe can cause all types of problems, hastle, and costly repairs! Before the temperatures fall, you should ensure you have no leaks in your bathroom and general plumbing. While you’re at it get some bathroom cleaning done as well and focus on winterizing any exposed pipes that may freeze or suffer during cold weather. Give them some good insulation and you should have little to worry about in the long run. Once that is done you will have a chance to relax without worrying.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that during the autumn season you will likely see a lot of rain, which means muddy footprints, lots of water being dragged in, and probably fallen leaves all over the place. While ordinarily this would not be a problem, some areas around the world see more of the above mentioned than others – especially here in New Jersey – so make sure you deal with it regularly. It will take some doing, but you can still deal with some carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning during that period as part of the maintenance process.