Fall Preparation Tips

Autumn is the most beautiful season of the year, with the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows dominating the landscape. Early morning frost sparkles in the first light of dawn, and harvest moons shine overhead. But autumn also means the harsh winter months are ahead. And with that in mind, you should be preparing your home for the cold weather. Here are some tasks you should be planning.

INSIDE THE HOME

For you to do:

  • Make an appointment to have furnace and humidifier inspected
  • Change the furnace filter
  • Drain your water heater to clear sediment from the bottom
  • Have chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned if necessary
  • Call for delivery of firewood
  • Replace storm windows and doors; store screens after repairing
  • Seal leaks in windows with caulk or weather stripping
  • Replace worn door sweeps to stop drafts
  • Check insulation in attic and walls
  • Flip your mattresses
  • Store summer blankets and clothes, and pull out winter blankets and clothes
  • Have winter coats cleaned if you didnít take them to the cleaners in the spring
  • Check boots for tears or leaks; make sure your childrenís boots still fit them
  • Purchase extra mittens/hats/scarves to replace lost ones in a hurry, or to have on hand for guests
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Collect emergency supplies (including food and water) in the event of a power outage

OUTSIDE THE HOME

  • Clean, drain and cover your pool
  • Cover and store your patio furniture
  • Pick up toys and bikes from the yard and store
  • Drain the gas and oil from your lawnmower
  • Clean downspouts after leaves are done falling
  • Check that gutters are securely attached to the house
  • Check roof for missing or broken shingles/tiles
  • Check flashing around chimney for leaks
  • Fill oil or propane tanks
  • Disconnect hoses from outdoor water faucets and drain before storing
  • Drain outdoor water valves
  • Insulate your septic system and other outdoor plumbing to prevent freeze-ups
  • Caulk around entry points for all pipes and ducts in exterior wall (repeat inside the home also)
  • Trim tree branches away from the house and power lines
  • Fertilize your lawn
  • Cover perennials as necessary (leaves work well for insulation)
  • Plant early spring flower bulbs
  • Bring potted perennials indoors
  • Harvest vegetables before the first freeze
  • Prepare your snow thrower for use
  • Check snow shovelsóreplace if necessary
  • Lay out mats at the front and back doors to trap snow and ice
  • Place a boot tray outside the back door for wet boots
  • Buy salt for icy stairs and walkways (be careful using around plants and pets)

CAR CARE

  • Take car in for winterizing and inspection
  • Place ice scraper and snow brush in the car
  • Buy window and lock de-icer to have on hand
  • Check wiper blades and replace if necessary
  • Fill windshield wiper fluid regularly
  • Have an emergency kit on hand for the road
  • Store an extra hat and pair of mittens or gloves and a pair of warm socks in your car in case of an emergency

Donít wait until the first snow storm to take care of these matters. You never know when the first snow will hit. Sometimes itís in the middle of the night, too late to run to the store, and youíll find yourself in a dark house without batteries for your flashlight or gas for the snow thrower. Be prepared.

 

 

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