Most people usually save their housework for the spring when the weather starts getting better. Warm weather can help you feel more motivated to make improvements and do repairs around the house, but that doesn’t mean spring is the only time for this.
Fall is the perfect time to take care of those home repair and maintenance to-dos before the cold of winter makes it too difficult or causes problems of its own. Once winter rolls around, you probably won’t be able to get many household projects done. You don’t want to spend months stuck inside looking at all the repairs you need to do, so try and tackle these before the weather really cools down. If you recently purchased a house in Calgary (check redfin.com) or anywhere else subject to below freezing temperatures, it becomes even more important.
A few projects are best to save for the fall and will help make your winter better. To make sure your home is ready before winter sets in, here’s what you should accomplish this fall.
Inspect Your Roof and Clean Your Gutters
The searing sun of summer, along with general wear and tear, can cause problems like chipping, cracking, and warping. It will be far easier to fix any roof issues that might have come up now and not during the middle of winter if it begins to leak. It’s also better to fix a small problem early, than wait for it to become more serious and urgent. Prevention is a lot less expensive too, as a new roof isn’t cheap – in Canada, it runs an average of $4,750, according to HomeStars. Although a new roof can be a huge cost to take on, it isn’t one you’ll have to do often, especially if you’re getting the maintenance you need when you need it.
While you’re up on the roof, you’ll want to check the gutters for potential blockages like dead leaves too. Cleaning the gutters is many people’s least favorite household task, but it has to be done. Of course, your gutters are going to get even more cluttered by the time fall is over. Fall means lots of leaves will be falling into the gutter, but by getting ahead of that, you prevent costly repairs like water damage. If there are leaves, be sure and clear them out so water can drain properly. If it puts your safety at risk, call a handyman. Your gutters will only get more leaves in them during the fall, so it’s helpful to make sure they’re empty before the leaves fall.
Winterize Your Porch, Sidewalks, and Driveway
Dealing with ice and snow can be a serious pain, but you can help make it a little easier while the weather is still nice. Ice and snow are not only hazardous to humans, but it can take a toll on asphalt and concrete surfaces. You’ll want to get them prepared for the season by winterizing. Repair any cracks using concrete caulk and sealer in your driveway as water can collect and worsen any existing cracks in concrete and asphalt. If you have an asphalt driveway, apply an asphalt crack sealer.
If any weeds are growing in your sidewalk or driveway, pull them out before fixing and sealing gaps. Before temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 5 degrees Celsius), pressure wash your driveway and then use an asphalt or concrete sealer to seal it to prevent damage from salt and snow. If you do this in the fall, you’ll be thanking yourself in the spring when your sidewalks and driveway are in good shape.
Clean the Chimney
Few things are more relaxing than sitting by the fire on a chilly winter day. However, while fireplaces might be nice to have, they require a lot of work to keep them safe. If you have a fireplace and plan to use it, be sure the chimney has been inspected and cleaned before the chill sets in. If it hasn’t been done in the past year, fall is the optimal time before the heating season begins.
A fireplace will produce deposits that are combustible and can burn at more than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit (1093 degrees Celsius), which is hot enough to destroy your chimney liner and set your home on fire. Something else you may not have considered if it’s been a while since you’ve used your fireplace, critters sometimes get inside and build nests which can clog the flue or chimney chamber.
Touchup Caulk or Sealant on Windows if Necessary
One of the most important things to do before the winter comes is to make sure you’ll be able to keep your home warm. When heat leaks out from your windows, it can lead to skyrocketing electricity bills, which is why it’s a must to check them out and do a touch up if it’s needed. Inspect the weather stripping to see if it’s intact in the place where the window sash meets the frame.
Check the stripping on the inside, too, by tilting the sash. If there are any problems, touch them up with caulk or sealant. There are plenty of methods to help fix drafty windows and doors that you can do yourself. Be sure the locks are functioning like they should as well, so doors are securely closed.
Seal Any Gaps or Holes So Critters Can’t Sneak In
Before winter starts, look around your house to see if you can find any gaps or holes that could let something into your home. During the winter, little critters will be wanting a warm place to stay too, and mice only need a tiny gap to get into your home. Fill all gaps and small holes securely to keep wildlife outside.
Once these critters get in, it can be a challenge getting them out. This doesn’t just help keep your home safe from any unwanted critters, but it can also help keep your home a little bit warmer this winter. If bugs and small animals can get in, so can the cold air