It’s hard to believe summer is over and fall is here. October is the perfect time to ready your home for fall and winter’s cooler temps and unpredictable weather conditions.
Here are a few tips:
1. Clear out the gutters. Remove leaves and other debris from your drainpipe and gutters to prevent clogging. If your gutters are full of detritus, water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and wood trim — plus cause leaks and ice dams. Don’t put yourself in danger; call Gutterman Services to help have this is done correctly and safely.
2. Divert Water. Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.
3.Turn off Faucets. Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.
4. Before you Burn make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.
5. Hit the Roof or at least scan it closely with binoculars. Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter’s storms or from melting snow.
6. Check the heating system. Do a survey of your home’s heating vents to make sure they’re not blocked or covered by furniture, carpeting, or curtains. Dust vents and clean all filters.
7. Check for drafts. Stay warm, save energy, and reduce your heating bills this fall by examining windows and doors for cracks and sealing them to prevent drafts.
8. Ready the water heater. Prepare for cooler weather by draining the water heater and clearing out any debris that has settled in the tank.
9. Go in Reverse. If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Energy Star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings — and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.
10. Fill the Gaps. If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Add weather-stripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.