It’s hard to believe, but Summer will officially be over in less than a month. We’re not saying that we believe the wives tales that two woodpeckers sharing a tree means that the upcoming winter is going to be harsh (thanks for that weird one, Farmers Almanac), but we do believe that preparing for the season is responsible homeownership.
Most of the homes in the surrounding Main Line area are historic and have seen quite a few winters in their time, but that doesn’t mean a little bit of TLC won’t go a long way to avoid any mishaps in the coming months. Fall is the perfect time to handle any routine maintenance as well as complete any unfinished repair work that may have started over the Summer.
Here is a list of a few things you can do to prepare:
Clean Out Your Gutters
We know, not the most exciting, or even pleasant task on this list, but cleaning out your gutters can prevent larger problems down the road. While you’re mucking things out, check out your roof for any damaged shingles, flashing or vents. Another thing, while you’re up there, check out your chimney! Look for cracks or missing mortar, and make the appropriate calls to have it repaired before a leak or draft ruins a future winter day.
Check On that Heating System
Again, we know, not the most exciting, but probably one of the most important. Testing your heating system should be done no later than the end of October, so you’ll have plenty of time to repair it, should problems arise. Replace air filters, check and clean heating vents, and check exhaust vents. You’ll breathe easier knowing the air is clean and there are no blockages that could lead to exhaust gases leaking into your house. Finally, if you’ve got any hint of doubt, let a tech come out and check that everything is in working order. You will have peace of mind and minimize the chance of being 75th in line to have repairs done on the coldest day of the year.
Restock Winter Essentials
No, we don’t mean sweaters and boots. Remember at the beginning of Spring when you said see you later rock salt? Time to reacquaint yourself, and restock. Make sure you move anything that may have been moved during the summer (like your snowblower or shovels) into an easily accessible place, like from the shed to the garage.
Prep Your Plumbing
Drain the water from your outdoor faucets and garden hoses, and blow out any in-ground sprinkler systems you may have. Freezing and shattering pipes are time-consuming and costly problems that are easily avoidable.
Seal The Leaks
Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps, inside and outside. Reglaze any older window panes that may have fallen out or cracked over the summer. If doorstops are worn, replace them. If any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall, be sure to use caulking and weather-stripping around all entry points. These steps will block any potential entry points for cold air.
Winterize Your Outdoor Space
So long, pool days! Call your service provider or make sure to get your pool cleaned, winterized, and covered. Any outdoor furniture, no matter how hardy, is not immune to winter weather. Make sure to cover/store any lawn chairs, lounges, tables, etc. and keep it well out of damp and dreary weather’s way.
Should any serious problems arise over the winter with your patio (i.e. large cracks, uneven or sinking concrete), give us a call. We’re happy to come to take a look and see what can be repaired or what needs to be replaced.
Voila! If you follow these tips you’ll save yourself a lot of undue stress this Winter! And think of what you can do with those saved funds, maybe a new kitchen or addition? We can’t wait to find out!