Your home is your most valuable investment. It is worth it to take the time to protect your investment. Late summer or early fall are excellent times to start thinking about winter maintenance for your home. Here are a few things you can do to prepare your home for winter.
Check Your Home’s HVAC System
Most HVAC systems last between 12 to 15 years. Some systems go belly up completely after as little as ten years, and others keep functioning strong for 20 years or more. Much of this has to do with how well the HVAC system is maintained.
The fall months are a perfect time to call a furnace repair service and have them inspect your furnace. Part of furnace maintenance includes changing the filters and checking for rusted or damaged parts.
It is preferable to have an HVAC professional find a problem while the outside temperatures are still moderate instead of finding out that your furnace does not work on the coldest winter day.
Protect Your Home’s Exterior
Winter months bring wind, plummeting temperatures, precipitation, and snow. The exterior of your home, especially its wood trim, must be protected from the elements.
If your home has a deck, make sure it has been pressure treated or was built from a rot-resistant type of wood. The wood of the trim around your exterior doors and windows is usually a thin pine board.
Winter weather and precipitation will damage it quickly if it is not protected. Having your home’s wood trim repaired or replaced by a professional is expensive. So it is better to prevent damage in the first place by using the fall months to paint and caulk around your wood trim.
Protect Masonry and Hard Surfaces
Concrete is prized for its durability. However, concrete is not indestructible. Apply concrete sealer to the flat concrete surfaces around your home, including your patio, walkway, and driveway.
Even the best concrete flatwork will start to crack. Water gets into the cracks during warm winter days and freezes during colder winter days, making the cracks bigger. Avoid this scenario by thoroughly inspecting your home’s masonry and ensuring that any cracks are covered.
The same thing applies to your asphalt driveway. Having a company visit your home to quickly spray sealer over your asphalt is not expensive. Or you can do it as a DIY project. Make sure that any patches in your asphalt driveway have been covered up before sealing the asphalt.
Clean Out Your Gutters
Towards the end of fall is an excellent time to clean out your gutters. If your drains back up and overflow, water runs down the exterior of your home, speeding up its deterioration. It is a more frustrating job to clean out your gutters in the spring after autumn leaves have sat in the gutters under months and months of moisture. It is preferable to take preventive measures to clean your gutters before winter.
Make Sure Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Working
Did you know that most fires happen during the winter? This is because winter is when your furnace goes at full bore, you’re using your fireplace, and you have a space heater on. People are more likely to have their homes closed up tight during the winter, so carbon monoxide becomes a bigger hazard.
During the fall, review all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they have new batteries. If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, get them before the winter. Having your HVAC system inspected will also ensure that your water heater and furnace are working correctly and do not become a source of carbon monoxide in your home.
A Few Minutes of Preparation Can Save Days of Frustration
Few places are more comfortable than inside your home on a cold winter’s day or a cold winter’s night. Don’t let winter maintenance emergencies, like a broken furnace, faulty smoke detector, or damaged exterior woodwork, make your home a less comfortable place to be. Take advantage of the autumn’s temperate weather to do preventative winter home maintenance. You will be happy you did in the long run.