A well-maintained house is a welcoming home, a shelter from the everyday problems and our very own island of solitude. Take good care of your house and it will take good care of you – neglect it, and you’ll have more headaches than you care for. You don’t need to put in all that much work into keeping your house in optimal condition, but you’ll still need to put some effort and money into various little seasonal maintenance projects if you want to save yourself a host of problems in the long term. Here are a few of the most important tasks that will help you prepare your home for the upcoming fall and winter.
Inspect your roof and gutters and make necessary repairs
Roof tiles are subjected to the elements year round and they usually get very little attention since they are out of sight and a bit more difficult to get to than other areas of the house. Shingles can be cracked or even blown off clean by a strong wind, the seams are usually covered by thin metal strips that can corrode over time, pests can cause structural damage, while the gutters can be clogged up or leaky. Having a moldy roof is yet another concern. So, climb up there and check the shingles and flashing for damage, check the gutters for leaks and damage and clean them up thoroughly.
Look for signs of mold, particularly in the basement and crawlspace
Mold can be a big problem as it will eat away at wooden surfaces and compromise the structural integrity of your home, airborne spores can be ingested causing health problems, and it just looks unseemly. You’ll want to take a good look around, particularly in such dark and humid areas as your basement and crawlspace. As mentioned previously, mold can take hold on the roof as well, or if you have a leaky roof, your attic will probably be in a very bad shape. If the problem isn’t that bad, you can take care of it yourself, but if a large area is affected, you are better off looking for professional help.
Check your drains and pipes
Plumbing problems can cost a lot of money to repair and cause you all sorts of grief, so it is best to be preemptive and thoroughly inspect your pipes before fall comes. If you have large trees in your garden, you’ll need to watch out for the roots as they can damage the pipes over time as they grow. Your biggest concern, however, is making sure that the pipes don’t freeze over during the colder months. A lot of common problems can be traced to burst pipes, so be smart and close and drain outside faucets, remove and drain hoses, insulate any pipes – such as the outside pipes – that will be subjected to the cold and check them for leaks, clean your water heater and check to see if your faucets and toilets are working properly.
Weatherproof your windows and doors
Small gaps in windows and doors are where the cold air will squeeze through and significantly lower the temperature in your house, which means more money spent on heating. You can seal off the gaps using sealants and you can use draft stoppers or window snakes. Closing your blinds and drawing your curtains can also help to certain extent. Check for gaps and cracks in your front door and inspect the weather stripping – make any necessary repairs while the weather is still nice.
Clean up your garden
During the fall, the leaves from the trees in your garden will tend to make a mess, but they can be very useful as a natural fertilizer, so crush them up and spread them out over the soil. If you are installing any plants in the fall, it is better to wait for the frost before covering the soil with crushed leaves or other types of mulch. Of course, fall is a good time to think about planting evergreens – maybe a nice little Christmas Tree in preparation for the Holidays, but be sure to apply plenty of anti-transpirants to keep your tree in top shape.
With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to prepare your house for the upcoming fall and winter in no time. All it usually takes is a small investment and some sweat – but even if you have to pay for some major repairs, it’s better to spend the money now than to have to worry with the aftermath of huge problems that can occur down the line if you choose not to fix things before they get out of hand.