Fall is an invigorating time in the Northeast United States. The humidity lifts and the air crisps. Being outside is no longer stifling and it is time for a whole new set of flowers, plants and decor.
The grocery stores and the nurseries place pumpkins, mums and asters all around just urging you to buy, buy, buy. Adorable scarecrows and idyllic bales of hay appear everywhere.
It is a fun time. But fall is also the harbinger of the cold and wicked weather we experience up here. So while you are outside breathing the fall air and sipping on that pumpkin latte, look around the exterior (and interior) of your house to ensure that you and your house are ready for winter.
Clean our your gutters
For this and especially if you have lots of trees, you might want to wait until the trees have dropped. Even though spring and summer are considered our rainy seasons, we do get a significant amount of snow. If your gutters are clogged going into winter, it could cause problems. Clogged gutters can cause ice dams. You will also want to make sure that the gutters are not sagging and trapping water.
Check the roof
Hey, while you’re up there make sure your roof looks good. Are the shingles in tack? Is there rust or cracks on the flashing?
f you have a chimney, you will want to make sure there is no crumbling and the mortar looks healthy. You should also check the chimney cap and make sure there are no bird or animal nests there.
Clean up the Patio Furniture
Before it gets so cold that you do not want to be outside or especially be outside using water, wipe down your patio furniture, any cute chachkies and your garden tools. While you may not be ready to put them away quite yet, cleaning them now is much more pleasant.
Check the Attic
Most air leaks will occur around plumbing, light fixtures, rafters and chimneys. Checking and resealing these areas can help you save up to 30% on your heating bill. There may be small holes you cannot see, but the signs that there is a leak will be dirty insulation or a draft.
Since most of us do not have fires often, we can forget about changing the batteries in our smoke detectors. But a common string around the finger for this is to always change your batteries when you “fall back.” Daylight savings time is a great reminder for this task.
Turn off the outside faucets
Turning off the outside spigots will prevent pipes from bursting.
Ensure Clean Air and low bills
Change your furnace filters not only for fresher air but for better flowing air and lower heating bills.
Prepare for Spring, Also
Plant springtime bulbs in October when the soil has cooled down. If this is your first time planting bulbs, be sure you pick a place that will get lots of sunlight in the spring.
Fall is a great time to play and relax. There is football, and pumpkins and holiday preparation. But in order to fully enjoy these things, you cannot be preoccupied with a wintertime debacle caused by a lack of homeowner diligence.