Get Your Home Ready For Winter

After a hot and humid summer, there is nothing better than welcoming in the crisp, cool, and dry air of autumn.  It’s also a great time to get your home ready for the upcoming winter.

But you don’t have to set aside an entire weekend for this.  A few hours on a Saturday afternoon should get the job done. By putting in a little work now you can safeguard your property against the hazards cold weather can bring.

Here are 5 quick ways to get your home in order this fall:

1) Mow a little more

Don’t park the lawnmower just yet. A shorter lawn promotes healthy growth and is easier to rake. And mowing fallen leaves will give your yard extra nutrients. Turn off the sprinkler system and have it winterized to prevent damage from pipes freezing.

2) Disconnect your hose

Your outside faucets can freeze and break if you don’t disconnect your garden hose before
freezing temps hit.  Water is trapped inside the valve when the hose is connected, and when water freezes, it expands and can break the valve, causing the potential for water to leak inside the house and flood the interior.   

3) Clean your home gutters

As leaves fall, they will clog your gutters.  Depending on how many trees are around your house or property, you may want to
clean your gutters a few times before all the leaves have fallen.  If the gutters are
full and clogged by the time snow falls, you’ll risk snow dams forming along the edge of the roof, which can leak inside the house causing water and mold damage.

4) Service your furnace

Have a qualified HVAC contractor inspect and tune-up your furnace.
Change the furnace filter monthly and consider installing a whole-house humidifier if you don’t have one already.  Dry air feels cooler than humid air and humid air is less likely to carry viruses than drier air.  Some high-end filters can remove viruses, allergens, pollens, etc from the air, but unless you are disciplined to change the filter monthly, just stick with the cheap filters.  The high-end filters will clog quicker and any filter than is clogged can damage your furnace and crack the heat exchange due to restricted airflow.  

5) Prep for winter snow removal

Winter is no time to be lazy.  Most cities require snow to be removed on sidewalks and right-of-ways within 24 hours.  For liability purposes you cannot afford to leave snow pristine on your driveway; one slip can and a fall can have expensive physical and financial consequences. Make sure your snow removal equipment is ready, or line up a contractor to remove the snow.  It will be tough to get on someone’s snow removal lists when snow’s already on the ground. Another good point to make about this is that you need to work on being a good customer to your vendor. For instance, paying them fast goes a long way at garnering their good graces the next time a snowfalls.

Following these tips will be one of the best things you do this fall to get your home ready for the winter season. It takes just a little bit of discipline to tackle this work, but doing so will help distinguish you from the not-so-good owners/managers and every little bit of efficiency goes a long way in this industry.