We're well into autumn at this point. And while you may be enjoying the cooler temps and a football game or two, there are a few things you'll need to do around the house before winter hits.
We know, we know. "Isn't it too early to start thinking about winter?" Think of it this way: With autumn comes frosty mornings and increased precipitation, including the possiblity for snow. Winter will be here before you know it, so keep these things in mind throughout the fall season to prevent expensive headaches down the road.
Clean Gutters & Check Downspouts
Check your gutters to see if they've caught any dead leaves and clear them as needed. This will prevent ice dams from building up in your gutter that could cause water to leak into your home.
Keep your eyes peeled for missing or damaged sections and replace them as soon as possible.
Make sure your downspouts are able to move water at least five feet away from your foundation, if not more.
If you still haven't cleared out the dead or dying plants from your garden, it's best to do so before the harsher winter weather rolls around - but think twice before removing the roots. Leaving the roots behind will provide food for microbes, worms, and fungi which can enrich your soil.
Prevent your lawn from becoming smothered by regularly raking and mulching.
Inspect Your Roof
With autumn comes the potential for snow, and the last thing you want is water leaking through your roof as the snow melts. Check for any missing or loose shingles. It’s a lot cheaper to fix a few shingles than an entire roof or dealing with interior water damage down the line.
If you're unsure of what to look for, consider having a roofing professional come take a look for you as your budget allows.
Make sure there are no leaks or holes in your window frames that could let heat escape during the cold nights. If you find any, you may be able to fix them simply by using a little silicone caulk to fill the gaps. This will help to keep your electricity bill down when you’re consistently running your heater.
Shut Off Your Outdoor Water Supply
Once you've shut off your outdoor water supply, don't forget to disconnect any hoses connected to your spigots. Then, turn on the spigots to allow any remaining water to drain. This will help to prevent your pipes from bursting as water freezes and expands.
Rotate Ceiling Fans
If you used your ceiling fans to help cool off during the summer, they may still be rotating counterclockwise. By switching their rotations back to clockwise, they can be used to circulate warm air, especially in rooms with higher ceilings. This can help you save money by reducing the running time of your heater.
Ensure Your Chimney Is Clean
There’s nothing better than a warm fire on a cold, snowy night - but is your fireplace ready? Make sure the chimney is clean and that all of the vents are cleared and in good condition. A clogged chimney can lead to chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks. Consider having a professional inspect your fireplace and chimney if you're unsure how to do so yourself.