How To Prepare Your Home For The Chillier Months

September 23, 2019

fall

It’s the first official day of fall and there’s no better way to welcome this chillier season than with a checklist of what you need to do to prepare your home for the winter. Well, there are plenty of more entertaining things you can do, like haunted hayrides and apple picking, but there are few more essential tasks than crossing items off of your end-of-summer to-do list. From the inside of your home to the out, let’s take a look at the most important things you should do before the colder months set in.

Clean Out Your Gutters

Leaving your gutters clogged up with dirt and debris can lead to expensive repairs come spring. This fall, be sure to turn your attention to your home’s gutters. Once the trees have shed their leaves, remove them along with twigs and assorted gunk from your gutters. If you neglect to unclog your gutters, ice dams can form when the chillier temperatures come around.

To prevent these dangerous dams and other gutter mishaps, make sure that your gutters aren’t sagging or trapping water. You can fix this by tightening gutter hangers and downspout brackets as well as replacing worn gutters and downspouts. As you’re tidying up your gutters, keep an eye out for branches and leaves hanging a bit too close to your home. While these parts of deciduous trees can be helpful by blocking between 60% and 90% of the sun’s rays in the summer, any close-hanging foliage can pose a danger to your house during winter storms. Trim back branches to avoid potentially dangerous situations before winter comes.

Close Up Your Pool

As you say a fond farewell to summer, one of the most important home maintenance tasks is closing up your pool. If you don’t properly close up your pool, you may be decreasing the lifespan of its surface materials. Plaster, exposed aggregate, or fiberglass finishes usually last anywhere from five to 25 years, but an improper closing can negatively impact these materials. Keep these materials clean by scrubbing your pool clean to rid it of debris, mold, and grime.

After giving your pool a good scrub, you’ll want to drain some water out of it. Use your filter or a siphon pump to get the water level low enough so that it doesn’t come into contact with the pool cover. You will also need to drain your pool’s pumps, filters, and other equipment so that they don’t freeze and crack during the winter.

Store any extra accessories in your garage or shed, such as ladders and diving boards. Remember to clean these items when summer comes around again next year so that anyone who wants to swim right away, which is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States, can do so in a clean environment. You can also help keep your pool water clean over the winter by tying a chlorine pool floater, or non-chlorine for vinyl pools, in the center of the pool’s deep end. Lastly, put a pool cover on to keep all of mother nature’s elements out of the water.

Check On Your Plumbing

Freezing pipes can be an unexpected yet very costly winter issue. About 10% of households in the United States have leaks in their plumbing that can waste as much as 90 gallons of water every day. These wasteful leaks also create an opportunity for cold weather to freeze the water and then expand and crack your home’s pipes. Before winter begins, have a plumber come in to give your home’s pipes a once-over.

You should also keep an eye on outdoor faucets and pipes. Remember to shut off water that goes to exterior faucets before temperatures dip below freezing. Remove any hoses attached to faucets, drain them, and store them indoors for the winter. If you have a sprinkler system, remember to turn off the water to that system at the main valve and open the drain valve to get water out of the system.

With the right preparation, you can keep your home in excellent shape throughout the long winter. When spring finally arrives, you’ll be grateful for all of the work you put into preparing your home for colder temperatures.

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