Fall and Winter Home Preparation

Joe Robinson, JGC Property Services

By Joe Robinson
JGC Property Services

As the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your home and lawn for the fall and winter. The hot summer days have taken its toll on your property, and now is an excellent time to remediate some of that. This article highlights just a few things that can be done to help preserve your property investment, whether it be your primary residence or an income-producing property.

Exterior and Lawn

  • Clean gutters. Leaves, pine needles and small gravel from the shingles can accumulate, clogging your gutters and causing them to overflow. This can also damage your fascia board, which is the board directly behind the gutters and where they are attached. Also trim back any branches that are touching your house, gutters or fascia.
  • Trim back bushes and trees. Trim back any growth that is blocking your doors and windows. This not only allows air to circulate and dry things out. It discourages thieves, who otherwise might try to hide behind them and enter your house uninvited.
  • Insulate outside faucets. If you don’t have special freeze-proof faucets, this is a good time to insulate your faucets, otherwise known as hose bibs. Styrofoam covers made for this purpose are readily available at your home improvement store and easily installed.
  • Outdoor lighting. Because the days are getting shorter, outdoor lighting is most important this time of the year. Make sure that all the bulbs are working, and consider adding additional lights. In addition to making your home more decorative, this also discourages thieves.
  • Pressure wash exterior. Mold, dirt and pollen can accumulate over the summer, and this is an excellent time to remove that. Also, it’s a good time to identify wasp, hornet and squirrel nests that need to be removed to protect your property.
  • Deck staining. If it’s been more than five years since you have had your deck stained, it’s time to pressure wash and stain it again. Transparent, semi-transparent, and solid color stain products are available to use, based on the age of your deck.
  • Irrigation system. If you have an irrigation system for your yard, be sure and isolate it from the water source and purge out the lines to prevent freezing.

Interior

  • Smoke detectors. Test and change the batteries in all of your smoke detectors. If your detector is more than ten years old, it’s time to replace the entire unit. The best detectors are hard-wired into your home’s electrical system and also have a battery backup. 
  • Carbon monoxide detector. If you have gas appliances or an attached garage, you need at least one carbon monoxide detector. Combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are available.
  • Change HVAC filters. Ideally, this should be done once every 90 days. Do it more often if you have pets, lots of people living in your home, or unusually dusty conditions.
  • Chimney sweep. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, now is a good time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected for cracks, bird nests, and built-up creosote.

These are just a few things we recommend as we enter into the holiday season.