Fall Checkups: As Vital as Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning was once a household tradition, designed to freshen a home’s interior after a long winter. Even though spring cleaning isn’t the family ritual it once was, many homeowners still feel the urge to deep clean their interiors, trim trees and spruce up planting beds when spring is just around the corner. But those same owners sometimes neglect the equally important “home work” that should be done before winter arrives.

Late summer can be the perfect time to perform a simple checklist of your home and property to ensure that your house will continue to shelter you and your family properly throughout the winter.

Take the time now to make a quick visual inspection and schedule any needed repairs now rather than later. By staying ahead of the seasonal changes, you won’t be waiting for emergency service when that first winter storm arrives.

Pay attention to the following:

  • Roofing and Gutters: Perform a quick visual inspection without climbing up on the roof. Look for missing, chipped or curling shingles, and make note of bubbles or ripples on the surface. Inspect your attic for signs of leaks. Check and clean your gutters now and as needed, when leaves begin to fall. If you have roof ventilation, make arrangements to have the insulating covers installed before winter arrives.
  • Site drainage: Clean and check your gutters to ensure that they’re not filled with leaves, and that water flows properly through them and drains as it should on the ground without pooling against the foundation.
  • Sidewalk, Driveway, Foundation and Masonry: Check for cracks, holes and uneven surfaces. Make repairs before freezing temperatures arrive. Any existing problems will only get worse during the winter.
  • Wood Surfaces and Trim: Now is the time to repair, sand, paint or stain, and seal wood trim to protect it from the damaging effects of cold, wind and snow.
  • Heating System: Test it now to be certain it’s ready when you need it. Change filters as necessary.

Have a professional look at your fireplace and clean your chimney if necessary. Test or replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well. They’re always a valuable early warning system, but especially so in the winter.

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