As the summer months come to a close and the first hints of autumn tinge the night air, the savvy homeowner ponders to themselves: is my home ready for fall weather? And if it is not, what should I do to make sure that it is? With the hottest of summer days behind us for another year, now is the perfect time to prep your home for the coming winter.
The severity of the project that lies ahead of you wholly depends on the climate where you live. If your winters are milder, some light clean-up to ensure ice dams do not form in your gutters would suffice, while more severe conditions may require snowblower maintenance. Wherever you may land on this scale, here are some quick, easy autumn maintenance tasks you can do to help you get your home ready for winter.
Clear Leaves and Debris Out of Your Gutters
One of the most commonly overlooked, and easily avoided, mistakes homeowners make is neglecting to clean out their gutters. When leaves, dead animals, and other debris are allowed to collect and build up in your gutters, they impede the flow of rainwater to the outlet pipe and can leak out over the side. While this may not seem like a big deal when the weather is not freezing, this can result in icicles and ice dams, which later translates into rotten, broken gutters and/or structural damage.
Check the Condition of Your Roof
Since you are already up there cleaning the gutters, it would also be a good time to inspect the roof. A cursory inspection of the roof should include:
- Checking for damaged/missing shingles
- Assess the condition of the chimney cap, and replace if necessary
- Inspect chimney masonry and make repairs/call professionals as needed
Basically, we want to make sure that the elements will not be able to get through the roof at any point, or form any ice dams that can wreak havoc on your shingles and everything attached to them once spring returns.
Aerate Your Lawn and Blow Out Your Sprinklers
Autumn is the perfect time to get your lawn aerated and to get your sprinklers blown out. Both of these activities are important in protecting your investment and ensure that both your lawn and sprinkler system will return in the spring.
Aerating your lawn allows for better air exchange and prevents puddling as the snow melts, and blowing out your sprinklers ensures that no water remains in the system that could potentially turn into ice and cause damage.
Check Your HVAC Filter
And lastly, ensure that your HVAC system has a fresh filter. If you smell a burnt smell at any point, chances are your HVAC system is trying desperately to work around a clogged filter. The best times to change this filter are in the fall and spring. As always, please follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in regards to filter type and installation.