First-Time Homeowner? Do These 5 Things to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter.
Whenever fall and winter approach, we always think of what makes this time of the year so special — pumpkin-spice everything, crisp, cool evenings by the fireplace and, of course, the holidays.
You may have fond feelings about these seasons as well, but is your home ready to handle the cold, wintry days ahead? Here are five things you should do to ensure your home makes it through these unforgiving seasons unscathed.
Inspect the Roof
The best way to prevent leaks and other damage throughout the cold, snowy winter months is to give your roof a visual inspection ahead of time. If you live in an area affected by a lot of summer storms, be sure to check for damage to any shingles or roof flashing materials. Take a quick peek inside your gutters to see if there are signs of shingle granules as these can indicate excessive wear to your roof.
Clean the Gutters
Clogged gutters, often a result of fallen debris from trees, can cause a variety of problems for your home.
Hire someone or throw some gloves on and clean out the gutters of your home. You’ll help prevent water damage to your home during the fall and reduce the likelihood of a dangerous and potentially costly ice dam forming on your roof during the winter. If you have a lot of trees around your home, you may want to have your downspouts cleaned out as well.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
You’ll need to have all the water blown out of your in-ground sprinkler system (if you have one) before the temperature drops too low. Failure to do so could cause your system’s pipes to freeze, burst and leak, which could end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. You can winterize your sprinkler system yourself, but you can also hire someone to do it if you’d rather leave that to the pros.
Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
As the temperature drops, you’ll likely end up using your furnace or fireplace a lot more. Keep your home and, most importantly, your family safe by checking the battery levels for your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Even if your home is without a fireplace, there’s no better time than now to test these potentially life-saving devices.
Prepare Your Lawn
Depending on the type of grass you have, fall might be the ideal time to fertilize. And it’s definitely the right time to rake or mulch all the leaves covering your lawn. Believe it or not, the greenest spring lawns are actually made in the fall.
Want more fall and winter preparation tips for your home? Check out this handy checklist from Better Homes and Garden.
How to visit and enter these homes without an appointment:
- Look for the COME ON IN! sign on a participating home.
- Download and use the NterNow app on your smartphone to get a one-time access code — or simply call the phone number on the sign.
- Enter the access code on the lock and that’s it! Just walk in and enjoy your tour.
- When you’re ready to leave, simply close the door behind you.