October is the perfect time to perform routine checks in and around your home to help make sure you don’t have any surprises when Old Man Winter arrives.  Some of these are simple checks you can perform yourself and others require a professional.  All are necessary to make sure you are safe and comfortable when the temps drop.

  • HVAC maintenance check.  Heating and cooling systems work hard all year round and it is good practice to have a check done each spring and fall to make sure all the necessary parts are in working order.  No one wants to be stuck in January with a broken furnace. 
  • Inspect and clean gutters. This is an easy way to make sure that with fall rains, or winter snow, nothing gets caught in your gutters backing them up and causing damage to your roofline and home.  If you have trees that hang over your roof, you might want to take it a step further and trim some branches to keep falling leaves from ending up in the gutter, ultimately clogging them.
  • Check window and doors sealants. This time of year there are many pesky insects and rodents looking to come inside to keep warm.  The smallest holes are inviting doorways into your home for mice, beetles, wasps, among others.  If you find breeches, there are simple, inexpensive fixes that can be found at local hardware stores.  Sealing any gaps or holes will also help with heating efficiency.  
  • Winterize sprinkler system.  This is one that many home owners forget and that can cause damage inside the walls of your home.  Call your sprinkler system company to winterize the hoses and pipes so that when you turn off the main water line, there isn’t any remaining moisture that can get trapped and freeze.
  • Check exterior spigots for leaks.  When it’s time to turn the main exterior water line off, you want to make sure that no water is leaking from your pipes.  Leaks are also a sign of air that can get into the pipes and cause freezing. 
  • Check trees around perimeter of house for any low-lying branches.  Heavy snow and ice can weigh down limbs that could become hazardous, not only to your roof and windows, but to humans and animals outside. 
  • Check emergency kit to make sure you have candles, batteries, a radio, canned goods and water and any other comfort in case the power goes out due to hazardous weather.

These simple fixes can be done in less than a day and will help protect you and provide comfort this winter.  Happy Fall Ya’ll!