5 essential winter and fall home items

5 Essential Items to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter

Prepare your home for the effects of colder weather so that you can avoid the hassle and stress of emergency repairs in the months ahead with these tips.

by Anne Middleton, on September 20th, 2016

Most people enjoy the changing of the seasons. It is beautiful to see the leaves turn to vibrant hues of oranges and browns as the anticipation and excitement of the holidays grow closer.  Unfortunately, along with the colder weather comes some nasty weather elements including the wind, rain and snow. Now is the time to assure your home is ready for the fall and winter seasons.


Homeowners everywhere realize that regular maintenance is indispensable to keep their dwelling comfortable and to avoid unnecessary home repairs.  In fact, Americans spend over $284 billion dollars on home improvements and repairs annually.  Take a moment and walk through your home, both inside and outside, to see if any patching or mending is needed before the storms roll into your neighborhood.


Here are a few items which should be checked:


1. Up on the Roof
Most experts agree that a typical roof will last up to 25 years and the reputable home improvements stores usually offer warranties that last at least this long.  But specific sections of the roof may become vulnerable after just a few years.


If you notice that the shingles are curled, cracked or buckling, it’s time to get the roof inspected. There is nothing worse than coming home on a rainy afternoon to find water dripping from the ceiling a result of a roof leak. Consult a specialist to help determine if your roof requires a simple repair or if something more extensive may be required. Your local home improvement store professionals can help you assess the health of your roof and fix any problems quickly and safely.


Most reputable companies, such as Home Depot, offer discounts on roofing projects during the fall season as homeowners prepare for the rainy months when roof leak repair is essential. 


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2. Baby, It's Cold Inside
It is an uncomfortable and even frightening experience waking up shivering in the middle of the night because your furnace is not working properly.  Before the cold of the season is upon us, it is a good idea to have your heater checked out by a reputable HVAC company.  If there are problems, it could be something as simple as a pilot light that has gone out, or something as serious as the need for a completely new system.


When hiring a company to do a tune up or perform maintenance on your central heating unit, check out their license and confirm that they offer a warranty and guarantee with their work. If the worst case scenario is confirmed and an entirely new heating system is required, check out the latest models that are energy savers and will cut down on your monthly heating costs.


3. Put it Away
It’s time to face the fact that patio furniture needs to be scrubbed down and covered or put away. Your outdoor accessories will last well into future summer seasons if you take care of them now. Subjecting them the rain and cold could result in mildew and mold on your outdoor décor.


4. Gutters and Downspouts
This is the time of year that you’ll want to make sure your home is ready for any rain by examining and cleaning your gutters and downspout. Downspouts are the vertical pipes that extend from the roof to the ground level to carry water away from a rain gutter. When gutter and downspout cleaning is ignored, they become clogged and serious damage may occur. Keeping up with gutter and downspout maintenance is extremely beneficial and vital to the longevity of the structure.


5. Windows
Drafty spaces in your house may be due to windows that are not properly fitted and have gaps and cracks that allow the cold air to blow into the home. This results in higher heating costs and chilly nights.  The good news is that repairs may require something as basic as replacing worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulking any gaps.  If it is something that requires more work, window replacement should be done by a professional.


Just as you need to prepare yourself for winter with a coat, scarf and gloves, your home needs to be prepared, too….only not in such a fashionista way. Do everything you can to prepare your residence for the effects of cooler weather so that you can avoid the hassle and stress of emergency repairs in the months ahead.