By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
Once summer is a memory, it’s time to celebrate fall! But before you take one bite of an apple-cider doughnut, you should get your house ready for the colder months. The following tips are all about maintenance and end-of-the-season chores that don’t take much time to do. Check out the following tips that will make winter cozy and safe:
1 Clean the gutters
If the gutters are clogged with leaves, small branches and other debris, it may cause a drainage problem. This could lead to serious damage when water gets into your home’s walls, siding, basement or foundation. Clean them out and think about installing gutter guards, which help prevent debris from landing in the gutters.
2 Get the roof evaluated
You should do this every fall whether or not the roof has been problematic. A professional roofer can find and fix any damage before it gets out of control, such as missing or broken tiles, crumbling shingles or mildew growth. The harsh cold winter could make any problem worse, which means repairs could be more expensive to fix. If you wait until next year.
3 Don’t leave the garden hose attached
When a hose is still attached to a water source during the cold months any water inside it may freeze, and the resulting ice could damage the spigot and pipes, so be sure to drain then detach hoses. As for storage, it’s okay to leave hoses outdoors during the winter as long as you first drain them of water.
4 Get your chimney and furnace inspected
Even if you don’t turn on your fireplace that often during the winter, it’s essential you get the chimney evaluated and cleaned once a year to eliminate any fire hazards. When you burn wood in your fireplace, for example, carbon monoxide is produced. More may accumulate if your chimney is not functioning properly, and that could lead to serious harm to your well-being.
5 Check window insulation
When the temperature drops, you want to be warm and cozy inside. To make sure your home is toasty, now’s the time to check for cracks in the exterior caulking around window frames, doors and air conditioners. Notice any drafts coming from closed windows? To fix the problem, replace the caulking or fill in any holes. Installing weather stripping could also help keep cold air out.
6 Drain the hot water heater
By getting rid of sediment and dirt that lurks behind, you may extend the life of the unit by several years. (Flush the heater in the spring as well.) Currently, most hot water heaters are expected to last up to 15 years.