10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall

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The nights are beginning to cool off. Kids are headed back to school. Yes, we’re starting to make the transition from summer to fall. If you’re a homeowner, have you considered whether your home is ready for this seasonal shift? Now is the perfect time to make home maintenance part of your routine. By doing so, you’ll be protecting a valuable investment (your home), preventing avoidable injuries, and saving money.

Here’s how:

1. Take it from the Top Down

Assess the state of your roof. Before you go digging out a ladder, avoid getting yourself into a precarious situation and buy or borrow a pair of binoculars. Use them to scan for shingles that are pulling up, cracked, or missing. Make note of any visible damage near the chimney. Make sure the gutters are unobstructed. If they appear to be getting clogged, make an appointment to have them cleared. Most companies will provide you with a free estimate.

2. Walkabout

Walk the perimeter of your home, keeping an eye out for uneven pavement on the walkways, cracks in the concrete, or loose steps. It’ll be well worth your time to eliminate any potential tripping hazards with a few small repairs.

3. Faucet Foresight

Turn off valves that connect to outside faucets, and open the outside taps to drain the lines. Disconnect the hoses and put them away for winter.

 4. Waterwise

Your gutters are clear, now check that water drainage is directing away from the foundation, avoiding basement flooding. A downspout extension is an economical solution the could save you from unnecessary insurance claims.

5. Perfect Pool

Especially if you have an inground pool, there are a number of important considerations to ensure you close it correctly. Read up on the right supplies and tools, or better yet, schedule a professional so you don’t run into any unpleasant surprises come next spring.

6. Fastidious Fire Prevention

Test and replace smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitor batteries. Don’t have a fire extinguisher in your home yet? Find out how to choose the right one.

7. Diligence with Drafts

A drafty home is an inefficient home. Inspect windows and doors to feel for air currents. If you feel cool air chances are, you have a leak. To catch smaller drafts, a lit candle can help identify areas where air is escaping. Ideally, do this test on a cold day, and place the candle near suspect spots, like baseboards, and electrical outlets. A flickering flame means there’s most likely a draft. Save upwards of 10% on your heating bill, using these great weather-proofing tips.

8. Bye, Filthy Furnace

To avoid your furnace running inefficiently, or worse, causing a fire, replace or clean the furnace filter at least every season. There are several factors which may mean you should clean it even more frequently find out if any of these criteria apply to your home.

9. Everything is Automatic

If you don’t already have one, consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically turn the heat down in the evenings.

10. Win at Winter

Stocking up early on winter gear suddenly isn’t so bad when you consider how much money you can save. It’s better to have the supplies now, before you need them. Some thrifty things to save on before they’re in demand: firelogs, grit for your walkways, and snow shovels & blowers. If it’s a gas snow blower you’re using, here’s a tip you’ll want to check out to make sure it keeps running after the first time you use it.

 

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