Now that autumn leaves have changed color and cool crisp fall nights have arrived, we are reminded that winter is just around the corner. As you work on your fall cleanup, here are a few of my home maintenance tips on preparing your home for the upcoming winter months.
Roof, Gutters and Downspouts
Rain, ice, snow and wind can all cause damage to your roof and gutters. Now’s the time to trim all tree limbs and vegetation away from the roof. You should remove debris, such as leaves and sticks, from your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters don’t allow water to properly drain away from the home, which can cause seepage in your ceilings and walls. You can invest in gutter guards, a screen that prevents debris from entering the gutter and directs the flow of water away from the house and into the ground
You don’t want to find out that your water heater isn’t operating properly when you need it most. So use this time to perform an annual inspection, which includes having your tank’s pressure and temperature relief valve checked.
Heating and Cooling System
If you have a forced warm-air heating system, you should check the exhaust vent and air shutter openings for dirt and dust. Clean any lint and dirt to prevent airborne dirt from circulating throughout your home. Wash out your reusable filter or replace it if it’s disposable.
Doors and Windows
To help control heating costs, make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed. Now is the time to repair or replace weather stripping around door bottoms and jambs and window frames. Check for loose or missing glazing putty and for caulking deterioration. If you have storm windows, install them.
Frozen or burst pipes can cause major damage to your home and be expensive to remedy. Before frigid weather hits, protect your pipes in unheated areas from freezing by adding insulation, which reduces heat loss from hot-water pipes and condensation on cold water pipes. This can be accomplished by wrapping the pipes with heating tape or blanket insulation and duct tape or by encasing the pipes with preformed plastic foam. In addition, examine your pipes for cracks and leaks.
Before you light the logs and get ready to settle in front of a cozy fire, make sure that your fireplace is in good working order. It is important to clean your chimney and check the chimney flue on a yearly basis. There are many chimney cleaning companies that will clean, inspect and repair as needed. In addition, before inspecting, cleaning or making any repairs, refer to your owner’s manual for all equipment for proper instructions, which should be the final authority on any maintenance.
Outdoor Surfacesand Landscaping
Fall is a great time to seal your driveway, stone patio and other hardscape surfaces. In addition, prune tree branches away from your home. Plant spring flower bulbs and move sensitive potted plants indoors. Although this list is merely a guide, it can help you keep your home in good shape and have a winter free of major repairs.
Now’s the Time!
Inventory continues to be low, and buyers are looking for new inventory. If you want to sell your home and would like to discuss the best approach for a positive outcome, please call me, Michelle Gillespie at 508-934-9818 or e-mail me at [email protected].
Visit my website at www.michellegillespie.com for more information.