The air is getting colder and the leaves are changing colour. Before we know it they will be falling from the trees, clogging eaves troughs and causing damage to your home. Have no fear, you can still enjoy the fall weather and save your home from winter damage by completing some of these simple home maintenance tasks every year before winter.
Shut off all outside water lines and drain them: Water left in outside lines can easily freeze and rupture the plumbing causing substantial damage when the water flows back into the home.
Check and clean heating system and change filter: A properly operating heating system not only keeps you warm, but also keeps water pipes from freezing and rupturing.
Clean out chimneys, fireplaces, and woodstoves: Buildup of ash and soot can cause chimney fires, be sure to clean out your chimney, fireplace and woodstove often.
Ensure you have salt and shovels ready: Old man winter rarely warns us before the first snowfall, be prepared.
Check sump pumps and install battery back up if possible: Large snowfalls can often be followed by a quick melt, ensure your sump pump is in working order and install a battery back-up in case of power outage.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries (best to replace batteries twice per year): A properly working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm on each floor can save lives.
Trim trees back from the home, ensure dead branches are removed and any sick trees are addressed: Branches too close to the home can clog eaves or damage roofs in windstorm. In addition, the additional weight of ice and snow can cause deteriorating trees and tree branches to fall causing significant damage.
Inspect roof for missing shingles or signs of deterioration: Your roof may soon be covered in snow, ensure it is water tight now to avoid snow and ice melt into your home.
Inspect gutters eaves to ensure clear water flow off the roof and away from the home: Water can easily back up under singles, or sneak in through foundation cracks. You can protect your home by ensuring a clear path for the water to run off the roof and away from the home.
By completing these simple tasks you can save your home, and your pocket book from expensive damage this winter.
for more general maintenance ideas, check out Bob Vila’s blog post: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/502-winter-preparation-checklist/#.Vfv7Ad9VhBc