Steps to prepare for the fall and winter

We're officially in the fall portion of the year.

As the temperatures start to dip and leaves fall off the trees, you have to start preparing your home for the weather changes. The transition from summer to fall and then winter will have a noticeable impact on your property.

The good news is you'll be able to set aside a weekend or two to go around the house and make any necessary changes. Most work won't require you to hire any professionals, but there may be instances where you need to.

Additionally, the sooner you start preparing for the fall and winter, the better position you'll find yourself in. Delaying any type of work may cause underlying issues to get worse. And at that point, those situations could be end up costing you.

Here are some tasks to add to your checklist to ensure you're ready for the fall and winter.

Clean those gutters

The gutters are what help keep water from entering your home through the foundation. Without them, it's very likely water would enter the house and cause structural issues over the years.

As leaves change colors and fall from the trees, take the time to appreciate the change in scenery. But take notice of where these leaves are going because if you live next to a few trees, it's very likely the gutters will fill up.

Clogged gutters pose an issue if you don't take the time to remove any leaves that have found their way into the gutter. Letting them sit there can lead to damage to exterior surfaces, as well as water making its way into the basement, Better Homes and Gardens pointed out.

If you don't want to constantly grab the ladder and pick leaves out, consider investing in gutter guards, which are available at your nearest home improvement store.

Many cleaning gutter.

Take the time to clean out your gutter.

Climb to the top

Next up, and you'll literally go up, is to check the roof for any damage. Leaks or other damage to the tiles can pose a serious issue when temperatures start to decline and precipitation falls. Additionally, putting off this task also means you may have to climb the roof when the weather is worse than it is now.

The good news is you also don't have to climb to the very top to spot damage, as you can do so using a pair of binoculars from the ground. Houselogic pointed out some things to keep an eye out for, which include some of the following:

  • Broken or missing shingles
  • Cracked caulk
  • Moss or lichen masses

Repairs such as replacing shingles and other repairs can be completed without professional help as long as you feel comfortable walking on a roof.

If not, you can call for help. But keep in mind you'll have to pay for repairs. But knowing that you took care of issues before they worsened can be a relief, especially given the changing weather.

Inspect the furnace

When the weather starts getting colder, your furnace becomes your best friend. Given the nature of the important piece of equipment, it's best to have a professional come out for an inspection. The earlier you call, the better.

"A furnace inspection can help reveal possible reasons for inadequate heating."

A furnace inspection can help reveal possible reasons for inadequate heating you may have noticed in previous years. Some issues can be small, but more serious ones may require the installation of a completely new furnace. If so, this is a time when your emergency account will come in handy.

Other tidbits

Other steps to prepare for the fall and winter include checking for and fixing any areas where there may be drafts, cleaning the chimney, replacing the batteries in the fire and carbon monoxide alarms and cleaning up. You can even add mats to entry ways so mud doesn't end up all over the house.

Now is the time to start preparing for the change in weather, and you'll be glad you did.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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