As fall weather sets in and the kids head back to school, it’s a good idea to take a weekend to prepare for the changing temperatures. It doesn’t matter whether Cord Moving and Storage agents for North American Van Lines just moved you to your new home or if you’ve lived there for decades—seasonal preparation is a key component of all responsible home ownership.
Although your specific repairs and tasks will vary depending on where you live and the age of your home, these tasks tend to fall on almost everyone’s list.
> Weatherproof the Home: Weatherproofing can mean a lot of things. Tasks like checking widow seals, caulking up cracks, putting insulating blankets on pipes and water heaters, weatherstripping the house, and hanging insulating drapes all fall under this category. Anything you can do to reduce drafts and insulate the home is a good idea.
> Furnace Maintenance/Repair: If your home runs on a furnace, it’s a good idea to get it checked once a year. This will ensure that all filters and ducts are clear, and that you’ll be running an efficient heat system all winter long. (The same is true for any kind of heating you use…clean and prep the pellet stove, the fireplace, or even the baseboard heaters.)
> Update Safety: With indoor living (and heating) comes a much higher risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure all your smoke detectors are working and replace any expired fire extinguishers. You should also make sure your entire family knows the evacuation plan in the event of a fire.
> Gutters and Rooftops: Before winter comes, you’ll want to put your focus to the top of your home. Gutters can fill up quickly with fall leaves and debris, and those loose shingles you’ve been meaning to take care of probably aren’t going to last another winter.
> Paths and Driveways: After you take a look at the roof, get closer to the ground and look for things like cracks in the driveway, loose paving stones, and other potential hazards. Cracks tend to grow in winter months because of the freezing-thawing cycle, and a loose stone could become a tripping hazard once it’s hidden by ice. Take care of these issues now to avoid even higher damages later.
> Stock up on Winter Gear: The best time to buy winter home supplies is before the cold weather hits. Items like shovels and snowblowers go out of stock as soon as there’s a big storm. You might also want to get your shipment of firewood in before the temperatures drop.
Another great option for fall is to do some more intensive home repairs/building. If you’ve ever wanted a mudroom or have been waiting to transform that extra bedroom into an office, fall is a great time to do it. The ticking clock of winter on its way is a great motivator, while the cooler temps mean you won’t be sweltering as you undergo a little home DIY.