With each passing day of sweltering temperatures and sweaty evenings spent grilling out on the patio, you’re probably feeling more and more mentally prepared for fall. But is your home prepared for the onset of cold weather? Use this checklist of six essential fall home maintenance tasks to ensure your house is as ready as you are for the temperatures to drop.
#1. Sealed & Secured
Using exterior caulk that’s color-matched to your home, seal up any cracks you find between trim and siding or around window and door frames. Sealing these cracks will prevent moisture from getting inside your walls and air from leaking out. You don’t want to wake up shivering from a cold draft sneaking in through a crack in the caulking around your bedroom window.
#2. Batten Down Your Pipes
To prevent frozen and burst pipes, it’s crucial to winterize your exterior plumbing systems. Remove and drain hoses, cut off water supply to exterior faucets, and shut down your sprinkler system by turning off the main valve and automatic controller. If you do discover a frozen pipe this winter, make sure you act quickly to thaw the frozen section of pipe before it bursts and makes the problem worse.
#3. Climb On Top of Roof Repair
Your roof is your first line of defense against heavy snowfall and leaks from snowmelt during the winter, so make sure you inspect your roof for any signs of damage or decay. Be safe! If you have a steep roof or multi-story house, use binoculars rather than climbing up yourself. Shingles that are buckling, cracked, or missing should be replaced immediately. Call a professional for an inspection if you find any moss or lichen growing on the roof. It may conceal decaying patches of roofing.
#4. Turn Up The Heat
Fall is the best time to schedule a preventative furnace inspection from a heating and cooling professional. It may seem premature to start thinking about in August when temperatures still routinely hover in the 90’s, but having your furnace checked out and tuned up before the cold weather hits will ensure that you stay warm all winter long–not to mention save money on costly repairs!
#5. Change Direction
Back to school is always a time when change is in the air–even your ceiling fan needs a little change of direction! Ceiling fans are a huge help getting a breeze going in stuffy rooms over the summer, but many people don’t realize that they can help regulate indoor temperatures during the winter, too. In the winter, your fan should rotate counterclockwise in order to create an updraft that disperses hot air that has risen to the ceiling. This draft will redistribute the warm air throughout the room, keeping you comfortable by heating the room more efficiently. Using your ceiling fan during the winter can even help reduce energy costs by as much as 15%.
#6. Get Into The Gutter
Save this task for last. Gutters clogged with leaves and other miscellaneous debris can freeze over into ice dams that will cause expensive damage. If you clean them out too early in the season, falling leaves will re-accumulate before the first major snowfall.
If you discover something that needs replacement or repair as you work through this checklist, contact Bonfe to schedule a service visit.