1. Clean the gutters
Ice dams are usually caused by clogged gutters. Once all your leaves have fallen is a perfect time to get up there and inspect those gutters! Clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them out with water, check the joints, and tighten brackets if needed. If you need to replace your gutters, use the ones with built-in leaf guards!
2. Inspect the roof
Don't wait until there is a problem to check your roof. Make sure it is in good shape before the snow starts falling. You will want to look for missing and loose shingles. Your roof is your first defense in protecting your home for that harsh weather we go through in winter. It is always better to fix a small problem in fall then have to deal with a large problem during winter or in the spring.
3. Check for peeling paint
Inspect all exterior areas where you have paint to see if it is peeling or blistering. Peeling paint is a sign that the existing paint film is failing and will no longer protect that area. If left without fixing the area will deteriorate leading to an expensive repair in the future.
4. Caulk windows
To prevent heat from escaping ensure you caulk around windows and door frames. Caulking and sealing openings is a very inexpensive job that will help prevent water from getting in causing cracks and mold build up.
5. Cover air conditioners
To prevent rusting of vital parts, remove units from windows or cover with an approved tarp or air conditioner cover. Be sure to vacuum internal parts be for covering.
6. Prepare your deck for winter
While cleaning your deck and furniture, look for any repairs that may be needed. It is best to store your outdoor furniture and bbq in a protected area. Put away your pots and planters. If you do leave them out, take out the dirt so it does not freeze and crack your pots.
7. Clean yard equipment
Prepare all summer yard equipment for storage. Be sure to drain all fuel from gas-operated equipment. Check to see if all your snow equipment is up and running so you won't be stressed for the first snow fall.
8. Seal your driveway
Check for cracks as you walk your driveway. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler. When finished coat with a commercial driveway sealer. Doing this helps to maintain your driveway during the harsh weather and help it last longer.
9. Ready your fireplace
If properly serviced, heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems. Ensure you have your heating system check by a licensed heating contractor.
10. Reverse the ceiling fan
Changing the direction of your ceiling fan will create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
Happy fall prep!