While we love the beautiful colors of fall and the family-friendly festivals here in Atlanta, we can’t help but think that winter is quickly approaching. As fall prepares us for the frigid winter temperatures to come, we often head to our closets and basements to pull out the boots and heavy coats. But it’s also time to prepare our homes to bear the weather, too. Winter can be very unpredictable and can wreak havoc on not only your home but your wallet, too. Here are 6 maintenance tips you can do this fall to prepare your home for winter:
Clean Gutters and Downspouts:
Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.
Check Safety Devices:
At least once a year, do a top to bottom review of your home’s safety features. This is also a good time to gather the family together for a review of your fire evacuation plan.
- Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed.
- Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed
- If you haven’t checked your home for radon, fall is a good time to do so — as the weather gets cooler and windows stay shut more often, radon is more likely to become trapped in your home.
Care for Trees and Shrubs:
While we admire the beautiful orange, red and yellow leaves, they won’t last long. When they do start to fall, they can quickly blanket your lawn. While you’re raking them away, inspect the trees close to your home or power lines and give them a good trim, if needed, to prevent falling limbs from causing a power outage. If you have trees near power lines, be careful! Call a professional if you are concerned.
Check the Exterior of Your Home:
While you are outside, take a walk around your home to look for any signs of damage to the roof, siding, and foundation. Spotting any damages early can help you plan financially and schedule repairs prior to winter. You should also check for any tiny gaps that little critters might be able to crawl through to keep warm. Fill those holes and cover large gapes securely to keep wildlife out.
Protect the Pipes:
While we may be in the south and freezing temperatures are few, we still need to protect our pipes when those frigid temperatures come. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures (below 32°) by shutting off water to exterior faucets. Be sure to drain hoses and store them indoors.
Schedule a Chimney Cleaning and Heating System Maintenance:
If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure that it is cleaned, maintained and working properly now before you turn it on in the winter. And before turning the heat on in your home, make sure to change out the filter in your furnace. If you notice anything not working properly, connect with an HVAC professional prior to winter. Be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one — it will stop critters from crawling down your chimney!
Don’t get overwhelmed by these preventative maintenance tips. You have a few months to tackle everything on this list; take it one step at a time.
At Karen Cannon, Realtors, we are local real estate experts for Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, and North Atlanta. We live, work and play here, and our agents are hand-picked for their connections in the community. Our clients know about homes coming on the market before anyone else. And our highly effective marketing program allows us to shorten the number of days on the market. We’ve even put homes under contract sight unseen!