Autumn is in the air. Can you feel it? While the cooler temperatures are a nice reprieve from the summer heat, it’s important to prepare your home for the winter. As a homeowner, here are three fall chores you shouldn’t overlook.
1. Chimney maintenance. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, it’s important your chimney remains clean and free of buildup. Even a slight buildup can increase your risk of a house fire. An annual chimney cleaning and inspection by a professional can ensure your chimney is ready to go for the winter. A professional cleaning can remove buildup of creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of burning wood. You also will be alerted to any potential problems and ensure your home stays warm and cozy all winter long.
2. Gutters and downspouts. The leaves are changing colors and starting to fall, leading to clogged gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can prevent ice and snow from melting and draining properly, causing costly damage to the interior and exterior of your home during the winter months. A properly installed and maintained downspout system can ensure your home has the proper flow of water off the roof and away from the foundation. Inspect your gutter and downspouts several times in the fall. Replace any gutters or downspouts that are damaged.
3. Sprinklers. If you haven’t winterized your sprinkler system, it’s the right time to get that task completed. If water is still running through your pipes during the first freeze, it could lead to cracked pipes and gaskets and costly repairs. Drain and disconnect all garden hoses, too. To prevent pipes freezing and bursting, ensure that pipes are well insulated. Do you know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in the event pipes do freeze? Ideally, all older children and adults living in your home should know how.