The weather may be getting unpredictable, but the four seasons are still a pretty consistent guide when it comes to our activities, including those around home maintenance and repairs. Case in point: autumn mobilizes people into preparing their homes for the cold and wet weather ahead. However, homeowners—especially first-time homeowners—should tackle their fall home maintenance with clear priorities.

We suggest starting with these 6 to ensure you’re snug and warm when winter comes:

1. Roof and gutters

  • Check for any need for repair or replacement.If your roofing material is asphalt shingles, repair broken shingles and replace the missing ones. If you have a tile roof, repair or replace cracked or broken tiles. If you have a flat roof, inspect for everyday wear and repair any damage.
  • Clean the gutters and downspouts.Leaves and any debris and loose material can cause water to collect on your roof and cause wood rot and other damage depending on the material of your roof.
  • Check your roof insulation.
    Proper roof insulation will ensure warmth in your home during the winter, which means efficient heating and lower energy bills.
  • Remove any nearby or overhanging tree branches.
    In addition to trees shedding their leaves in the fall and winter, some of their branches may break and fall on your roof. For safety, get a professional to do this job.

2. Drainage

Be sure the area around your house is properly graded away so rainwater drains away from your home. The soil around your foundation shouldn’t be settled and create areas for water to pool at your foundation. If there are any low spots, be sure to fill them in with some soil.

Your downspouts should carry runoff at least 3 to 4 feet from the foundation. Add downspout extenders if necessary.

3. Windows and doors

  • Seal all windows and doors.
    Caulk around your windows and weather-strip around your exterior doors to keep your heated air from seeping out.
  • Clean your windows.
    Don’t wait before it gets too cold. Clean windows allow more of the sun’s heat into your house.

4. Heating system

If you’re using radiant floor heating, then you’re all set. There’s really not much need for maintenance after installation.

If you’re using a furnace, be sure to do these:

  • Change the filter.
    Do this about every month to avoid any undue stress on your heating system caused by a dirty filter.
  • Arrange for the yearly furnace tune-up.
    Regular maintenance means longer life for your furnace and no costly repairs. Be sure get a trusted professional to do this.

Tip: Get a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to set your heater to turn on only when you need it.

5. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Many house fires happen in winter. Here’s why:

  • Practically everyone is blasting the furnace and building fires.
  • Most homes are closed up tight, increasing the CO2 hazard.

Ensure all your smoke detectors are working, with good batteries. (The HVAC inspection will also ensure proper venting for your furnace and water heater, which are the most likely source of carbon monoxide.)

6. Masonry and hard surfaces

A concrete patio, driveway, or walkway will eventually develop cracks, although great masons will ensure that control joints are strategically placed in the concrete to minimize cracking. For your part, check your concrete and apply concrete sealer, after filling in any cracks. This is to keep water from seeping in and freezing over the winter.

Now is also a good time to reseal an asphalt driveway. You can either call a professional (for a reasonable cost), or you can DIY—buy a bucket of sealer and roll it on yourself. Just be sure to patch any cracks before sealing.

If you’re expecting to sell or buy and move in the fall, be sure to find the right realtor to work with soon.

Contact Team Clancy today and tell us what you have in mind.