Once the weather starts to get colder it’s time to prepare yourself and your home for the fall and winter seasons. Checking your home for drafts, leaks, and securing the heating system are some of the few things that are included in the indoor home maintenance checklist. But, don’t forget to think about the exterior of your house. Having a proper outdoors home maintenance checklist is very important to protect your house during the winter season.
Below we’ll present a few important tips to include in your fall and winter home maintenance checklist.
Clean the gutters and check the roof
Remember to clean your gutters once the leaves have fallen because clogged gutters can cause damage not only to the exterior but also to the interior of the house. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by debris and leaves, and you might want to consider gutter guards to make your job easier. Consult with gutter contractors to recommend the best leaf guards to have enhanced gutter protection. Gutter guards can keep debris out, eliminate leaks, and you won’t have to clean them so often.
Also, never forget to inspect your roof for any signs of damage such as water pooling or holes. Damages to your roof can cause serious problems during colder weather, so remember to check any shingles that look raised or loose and have them repaired by a roofing professional. Another very important thing is to check the roof for any leaks in the fall before ice and winter winds turn them into disasters.
Turn off outdoor faucets and drain hoses
Outdoor faucet maintenance is especially important if you live in areas with freezing weather. Make sure to disconnect all garden hoses and drain the water that has remained in the faucets to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Close shut-off valves serving outside faucets and open the outside faucet to drain the line. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets, turn off the shut-off valve inside the house.
Also, make sure to call a professional to drain sprinkler-system pipes to avoid leaks and freezing. Freezing temperatures can cause cracks in your external pipes, releasing hundreds of gallons of water in one day. This can lead to serious structural damages, so make sure to check your pipes for signs of weakness. Turn them off and make sure they’re fully drained. Water pipes that run along exterior walls can be wrapped with heating tape which will prevent them from freezing and also save energy.
Seal air leaks
Check your windows, entryways, and garage door to make sure they’re not allowing cold air in. Weatherstrip your doors to stop drafts and stop pests. Sealing gaps that let cold air into your warm house can save up to 20% on your heating bills. Weatherstripping is the most cost-effective way to rein in cooling and heating costs. It reduces drafts and keeps your home comfortable year-round, but note that it can deteriorate over time, so you must inspect it periodically.
U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl/Released
Additionally, check for missing or damaged caulk around doors, windows, and entry points. Seal the gaps with a suitable caulk, and if the drafts are persistent, then consider replacing the windows. You might want to consider glass with spacers, multiple panes, or filler gasses, but it would be best to ask a professional for advice on which ones would be best. New windows will not only increase the level of comfort but also will decrease your heating bills.
Fix the driveway and prepare the garden for cold weather
Fixing the driveway before winter arrives is another important task. Note that when water gets into cracks it freezes, and when it expands can make the cracks even bigger resulting in crumbling concrete. Besides, who wants a driveway with cracked concrete and giant potholes? Damaged walkways, steps, and drives can be extra hazardous when the weather turns icy, so fixing the problems on time is very important.
Another important thing is to prepare your garden for winter by pruning trees, shrubs, and fertilizing the lawn. Pruning will prevent a tree limb from falling on your roof or a power line. Also, raking and aerating will prevent your garden beds and lawn from suffering during the cold weather. Fertilizing the lawn will allow the greenery to be properly nourished.
Your house and garden will seek proper care year-round, but the winter season is usually the most difficult to endure. Extreme temperatures cause damage to your garden, but also the exterior of your house. So, make sure to properly prepare your home for the upcoming season and avoid problems later on. And don’t forget to secure your outdoor furniture before the cold sets in.