The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing color, and people are walking around in windbreakers with Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
Yep, fall is here! It may seem early to start preparing for winter, but that’s why it’s called PRE-pare; late Autumn and early winter are packed with busy holidays, school events, and weather that make getting things done just a little bit harder. Add in the risk of an October blizzard (it seems to happen every year) and being prepared early just keeps looking better.
Below are five tips to help get you started.
1. Clean your gutters – it’s something that should be done a few times a year, especially as the leaves start falling. If you skip it, water and especially snow buildup can damage shingles, leading to roof leaks, mold damage, and even pest infestation. Pro tip: a cheap kitchen spatula is a great gutter cleaning tool. You can cut it to fit your gutter exactly, and it’s easy to clean. Don’t forget to make sure your gutter’s spouts are clear at the ground level, too. A plumber’s snake is handy to clean out any stubborn debris buildup.
2. Get a professional roof inspection – Your roof is your first line of defense against winter weather, so it’s essential to be proactive about any needed repairs as fall arrives. Having a licensed, certified roofing professional inspect your roof at least once a year (and after severe weather events) can give you precious time to deal with any issues before they get out of hand.
3. Be Fire Safe – Smokey The Housecat says “Only you can prevent fires in the home, which statistically speaking mostly happen in colder months!” Smokey Cat’s never been one for brevity, but he makes a good point: as fall approaches, fire dangers at home increase. Protect yourself by
- Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check their expiration dates!
- Get your chimney cleaned by a professional cleaning service
- Check your furnace filter at least once a month; if you hold it up and can no longer see light through it, it’s time for a new one.
- Have an evacuation plan in case of a fire and make sure everyone in the home is familiar with it!
- For more home fire prevention tips, check out this post.
4. Seal windows and doors – To save on heating costs, inspect your windows and doors for drafts, then seal them with weather stripping or caulking. Of course, if any window or door frames are damaged, the fall is a much better time to repair or replace them than when the snow starts falling.
5. Winterize The Grill – Some folks are barbecue warriors who have no qualms about firing up the grill all winter long. For the rest of us, autumn is a great time to prepare the grill for a bit of downtime. Make sure to disconnect the gas and burner unit, coat any metal parts with a bit of cooking oil to prevent rust, and cover the whole grill with a plastic bag to keep spiders and insects from nesting during the winter.
As any homeowner knows, the list of things to do around the house never seems to truly be complete, but with these steps you’ll at least be well on your way to achieving Peak Cozy this fall!
Written by Jon Becker