Fall Fix Ups: Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

For our final installment in the Fall Fix Ups series, we’re focusing on what you can do to prepare your home for the change in seasons. No matter where you live or what kind of home you are in, it pays to invest your time in home maintenance. After all, your home is most likely your largest investment. And hopefully our tips will make that maintenance a little easier and faster, allowing you enjoy the onset of fall and maybe even a little Indian summer.

During the fall and winter months, your home is a place to gather with family and friends, a place to unwind from the stresses of the day, and a place to sleep snugly each night. Follow our Fall Fix Up tips to ensure that your home remains your safe haven.

No unwanted visitors: As the weather turns wetter and cooler, everyone heads indoors. That goes for many unwanted pests like mice, squirrels, birds, and more. To keep these unwanted visitors from invading your house, do a little pre-season pest-proofing. Make sure to clear away foliage and tree branches from your foundation, roof, and windows and make sure that any edible material in your garage is safely stored. Use caulk to close any cracks or holes before you encounter a problem. And consider hiring a pest control professional to resolve any problems you find.

Dry dock: If you’ve lived in the Northwest for any length of time, you know that the rainy season is a long one. Everything becomes water-logged and sodden. It is important to keep you house dry to avoid any major damage that water can cause and to provide your family with a safe haven from the rain.

This fall be sure to check any place on your home that may allow water to enter – weather stripping, cracks and crevices around pipes, outdoor faucets and foundations, roofs, gutters, downspouts, rainchains, etc. A simple visual inspection can alert you to trouble that can often be repaired quickly and inexpensively by a do-it-yourselfer. Take the time to check your house for potential leaks can keep you from washing money down the drain later.

That’s hot: When the temperature drops, we naturally snuggle in to the warmth of our homes – unless the heating system is malfunctioning. Before you find yourself shivering and looking for another sweater, inspect your heat source while it is still warm outside. Test your furnace and replace the filter. If necessary, hire a professional now for any repairs. It may be cheaper and definitely will be faster in the off season. Clean your fireplace. Inspect the chimney for birds, the damper for functionality. Chop and store firewood in a safe, dry location.

If you are in the market for a new fireplace or woodstove, join me at the Portland Fall Home and Garden Show to discuss your options and fuel your imagination.

Previous posts in this series:

Part 1: Tips for Cleaning Up Your Yard and Garden

Part 2: Tips for Cleaning Your Garage

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