With the transition into the Fall season there are a few exterior home maintenance tasks that you can do to prepare for the Winter. It’s easier to prevent problems now, than to fix them in the middle of a snowstorm.
Here are a few things that you may want to complete before the winter arrives:
1. Clean eavestroughs/gutters and downspouts. Eavestroughs clogged with leaves and other debris can cause rainwater to overflow next to your foundation and create a leak into your home. If you live beside a lot of shedding trees, then you may want to clean them a few times during the Fall. After all the leaves are done falling, do one final clean-up.
2. Trim trees and shrubs. Before the next wind or ice storm, you may want to trim any weak branches, so that they don’t break off uncontrollably and cause property damage.
3. Check seals around the house. If caulking around any pipes or vents has deteriorated over the past year and created gaps leading into your home, then touch those up with the appropriate sealant. This will help to prevent water from leaking in, or wildlife from finding their way in as they look for shelter from the cold weather.
4. Shut of exterior water supply and store hoses. If you have water faucets that lead to the exterior of your home, it is critical to turn off the water supply for the winter. Remove any hoses, drain the water out of them, and store them away. Find the shut-off valve inside the home and turn it off. Then drain the pipe outside, by turning the faucet on until all the water runs out, then turn the faucet back off for the winter. If your interior pipe has a drain at the shut-off valve, then you can drain that too. This prevents damage to your plumbing which can be caused by water in the pipe freezing and expanding and thereby causing the pipe to “burst”.
Consider hiring a professional for any tasks that seem overwhelming to you. If you need a recommendation for an expert, let me know and I’ll be happy to give you some suggestions. Being diligent about home safety takes up some of your time, but preventing property damage and injury is well worth the effort.