For many families, fall can be a very busy time. With school back in session, sporting events to attend, and shorter amounts of daylight, your free time is often at a premium. However, it’s important to take time now to prepare your home for winter. Here are the top 8 items that every homeowner should attack:
- Exterior cracks: Check around the exterior of your home for any cracks or gaps. These areas allow water to seep in and cause damage if they’re not sealed, the water will freeze during the winter, making the problem worse. Caulking or sealing these areas is both a quick and simple fix.
- Windows: Remove, clean, and store your screens.
- Garage: Weather strip your door to keep critters out and heat in.
- Heating system/fireplace/wood stove: Call in the experts to make sure these essential winter items are working properly.
- Exterior faucets and hoses: Protect your pipes from freezing by shutting off water to exterior faucets and “bleeding” the line before the temperature dips below freezing. Drain your hoses and store them indoors.
- Gutters: Clean out debris so you don’t start off the winter season with an ice dam.
- Sidewalks and driveways: Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a year-round hazard, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for any disintegration of asphalt or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Replace the batteries in each of these life-saving devices.
Did you know that fall is the perfect time to plant spring flowering bulbs? Great choices include grape hyacinths, daffodils, and crocuses. If deer are a problem, net your garden with chicken wire.