Good Morning and welcome back to the Craig Sharp Homes Blog! We hope everyone is having a great Friday, and hopefully you were able to experience the large, vivid rainbow over Wichita today. If you haven’t been following us lately or missed a post, use the archives on the right hand side of the page to enjoy our prior topics and posts.
Today we’ll take a quick look at some general items all homeowners should be starting to think about as we get closer to Fall and Winter here in Kansas. As anyone who has spent any amount of time here will tell you, the weather is very unpredictable and can change in just a few hours. So while we are continuing to enjoy above average temperatures for September, we know that the threat of Winter is just around the corner. With that in mind, it is important to prepare and inspect your home now – while the weather is nice – to help prevent any issues in the coming months. While most of the items on this list can be DIY, please do not hesitate to consult a professional should you have any questions or concerns.
Pre-Winter Home Checklist
Clean gutters are remove sticks, frisbees, and other items from your roof.
Throughout the Summer and into Fall a lot of debris and gunk can make its way into your guttering, especially if you do not have a gutter cover. If you are not comfortable on a ladder, find a neighbor or handyman to help you inspect the gutters for leaks and proper drainage. As snow and ice melt off in the Winter, it is important that the runoff get away from your house and not cause ice dams that can damage your roof. Icicles may look neat, but can be a sign of improper drainage.
Caulk and seal all exterior windows and doors
As part of your regular home maintenance schedule, you should inspect your doors and windows to ensure a good seal is present to prevent water intrusion and heat loss. As we discussed in our last post, water is a power force that needs little opportunity to enter your home. While you are out inspecting the exterior of your home, be sure to look around the top, bottom, and sides of your windows for any trouble spots. If you find loose or damaged caulking, it can be easily removed and replaced in less than an hour.
Fertilize Your Lawn Before Preparing it to Freeze
As we get deeper into September and October and the daytime temps start to cool off, it is a great time to give your lawn a good feeding. Helping your lawn recover from the stress of Summer and helping it prepare for dormancy over the Winter now will have a tremendous impact on how lush and green your lawn will look next Spring. After you are done watering (before the first hard freeze) be sure to blow out your sprinkler system, detach and drain all hoses or drip lines, and put away or cover any grills, furniture, or other outdoor equipment that will not be used during Winter.
Change Filters, Alarm Batteries, and Check Furnace
If you are not changing your air filters every few months, they should at least be changed in the Spring and Fall. This is especially true in homes of allergy sufferers. Changing the air filter is an easy DIY task, just be sure to get the correct size of replacement filter. While you are at your furnace replacing the filter, you can also do a quick visual inspection of the unit for any damage. Now would be a great time to get a tune-up and professional inspection done on your furnace as well, before you need the heat later. Finally, it is a good time of year to change out the batteries in your smoke and CO2 alarms. As cooking moves indoors and we use more gas appliances/stoves in our homes, those couple minutes of changing batteries could save your life.
Stock up On Supplies
Finally, if you are our at the hardware store getting items for he above list, you might as well stock up on a few extra supplies for your home that may come in handy. Sand or ice melt for your driveways and sidewalks, extra batteries and flashlights in case of a power outage, a new snow shovel, blankets for your vehicles, and even bottled water are good to have on hand. Hopefully we do not have any major ice or snow storms, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.While not an extensive list, these items will at least give you a good start. There are lots of other, longer lists available throughout the internet, but the important takeaway is to get out, get eyes on your home, and work to fix any minor issues before they get worse. As always, a weekend of inspection and preparing now while it is warm could save you huge headaches this Winter. Stay safe and stay prepared!