Austin, TX – As temperatures cool down and the leaves begin to fall, it’s important to get your home prepared for the cold winter months. Conducting routine maintenance can prevent irreversible damage and costly repairs in the future. Here a few home maintenance to-dos that will have your home ready to take on the chilly season with no worries.
1. Check Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers, and First Aid Kits
Make sure safety inside of the home is covered. Check the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and change the batteries. Check that a ready to use fire extinguisher is in a safe, known location within the home along with a first aid kit in the case of emergency.
2. Inspect Heating System
Change out heating filters and contact a professional to inspect the systems for carbon monoxide leaks and other issues that could cause house fires.
3. Inspect The Roof
At least once or twice a year it’s important to inspect your roof and Fall is the perfect time to do it. Hire a professional or inspect the roof yourself to ensure there are no loose shingles that may cause leaks.
4. Clean Out The Gutters
Remove fallen leaves and debris from the gutters and flush out with water to prevent ice from accumulating and causing damage. Check for any tilting in the gutters as well and make adjustments as needed. Be sure to practice ladder safety if you plan on completing this project yourself.
5. Clean The Chimney and Fireplace
Check the chimney and have it swept to remove the soot build-up that is present. Once the soot build-up is about ⅛ -inches thick, you know it is time for a deep clean. It’s important to have the soot removed because the burning build-up is a health hazard, emitting toxic chemicals into the air and lungs.
6. Check Windows and Doors
Check the doors and windows for any damage or noticeable drafts. Sealing up any openings will save homeowners up to 20% on heating costs by keeping the cold air out of the home and the heat in.
7. Seal Cracks in the Driveway and Sidewalk
The sooner the crack in the driveway or sidewalk is repaired the better. Untreated cracks will continue to grow and cause greater damage to the property. Sealing up driveway and sidewalk cracks in the winter also helps prevent water from pooling up and freezing.
8. Prep Lawn For The Winter
While the fall leaves look aesthetically pleasing laid out on the lawn, it’s important to rake them regularly as leaves can kill your grass if left on the ground for long periods of time. Keep your soil healthy by mulching with the mower every four days. Cut down any dead branches to prevent them from crashing down when frozen. Disconnect the garden hose from outdoor faucets and store them coiled in a flat dry area.