The leaves ae falling, the air is cooling off - autumn is here at last. Now is the perfect time to get your home in shape before winter starts to take its toll, and while the weather is still pleasant enough to spend time outdoors.
Seal it up: Caulk and seal around exterior door and window frames. Look for gaps where pipes or wiring enter the home and caulk those as well. No only does heat escape from these openings, but water can enter and cause structural damage and mold problems.
Look up: Check the roof for missing or damaged shingles. Water, wind, ice and snow can cause serious damage to a vulnerable roof, leading to a greater chance of further damage inside the home. It's best to have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof, but you can do a preliminary survey from the ground using binoculars.
Clear it out: Clear gutters and eaves troughs of leaves, sticks, and other debris. Consider installing leaf guards if your gutters can accommodate them - they are real time-savers and can prevent damage from clogged gutters. Check the joints between sections of gutter, as well as between the gutter and downspouts, and make any necessary adjustments to tighten them.
No Hose: In climates with freezing weather, drain garden hoses and store indoors to protect them from the elements. Shut off outdoor faucets and make sure exterior pipes are drained of water. Faucets and pipes can easily freeze and burst, causing leaks and water damage.
Warm up time: Have the furnace inspected to ensure it's safe and in good working order. Most utility companies will provide no-cost inspections, but there can often be a long waiting list come fall and winter. Replace disposable furnace air filters or clean the permanent type according to the manufacturer's instructions. Using a clean filter will help the furnace run more efficiently, saving you money and energy.
Light that fire: If you enjoy the crackle of the fireplace on a chilly fall evening, have the firebox and chimney cleaned before using it this season. Cresote, a byproduct of wood burning, can build up to dangerous levels and cause a serious chimney fire if not removed.
** All information provided by Pillar to Post Home Inspections