Get Set For Winter With These Fall Home Projects

As sure as the leaves will fall from the trees, there will be projects and chores to do around the home during autumn months.

It could be winterizing outdoor plumbing, or sealing cracks in driveways. Maybe it’s prepping the yard for cold weather.

If you haven’t already started a “to-do list”, here’s a little help:

  • Check your driveway for holes and cracks. If you find any, clean them out and plug the crevices with driveway filler, then apply a commercial sealant.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. This handy device allows you to automatically lower the household temperature when you’re away or asleep and boost it just before you get home or get up in the morning, thereby saving on heating bills.
  • Create an upward draft and redistribute warm air from the ceiling by reversing the direction of a ceiling fan. And if you use humidifiers in the fall and winter, clean the water tanks regularly to prevent bacteria and spores from growing in them.
  • Caulk around windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping your home.This is another high-heating-bill buster, and reduces the risk of water getting into crevices and freezing, which could result in cracks and mold. You may also want to invest in new energy-efficient windows and doors if the ones in your house have seen better days.
  • Clean and repair, if needed, deck and porch furniture before storing it away for the winter. The same goes for barbeque equipment.
  • Get rid of blistering or peeling paint on exterior walls and sides. Left untreated, this can cause deterioration that results in expensive repairs later on.And consider applying a fresh coat of paint or sealer on any interior surface that could come in contact with snow, such as wood floors or stairs.
  • Winterize exterior plumbing such as faucets and sprinkler systems to prevent freezing and bursting.
  • Clear out gutters and downspouts of debris, such as leaves and sticks. This will help prevent ice dams from forming. And remember to repair any damaged joints and tighten brackets.
  • Have your home’s roof inspected for leaks or other damage and make necessary repairs. The last thing you want is to have snow seeping into your home through holes or cracks in the roof.
  • Aerate your lawn and garden beds, rake up leaves, and fertilize and winterize trees, shrubs and grass to prepare them for colder temperatures.
  • Prep your heating system in advance of use by having it checked by a licensed heating professional. Do you have a fireplace or wood stove? Inspect them, too, to ensure they’re ready to go when the cold weather sets in. This includes checking for creosote buildup caused by burning wood; clearing any chimney blockages (such as those caused by squirrel or bird nests); repairing faulty dampers, masonry or brickwork; and fixing or replacing damaged chimney caps.

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