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10 Essential Fall Home Preparations

Fall Home Prep

Photo Credit: Flickr/clairity

10 Essential Fall Home Preparations

By Carolyn Hauck on August 20, 2015

It’s hard to believe, but it’s nearly that time of year again. As we lazily enjoy the dog days of summer, it’s also time to start thinking about getting our homes ready for the fall and winter. The good news about starting early with home prep is that you can move through the below checklist slowly, rather than scrambling at the last-minute to caulk windows and seal doors just in time for the cold.  

Here’s a basic list according to a home improvement expert on JustAnswer. Many things on the list can be done by yourself, and if you get stuck, just check in with home improvement experts and they can walk you through the fix step-by-step.

Top 10 Top-down Fall Home Prep List

1) Check your roof. If you have a shingled roof, check for missing or curled shingles. Curled shingles, which means the edges have curled up, need to be replaced. Also check to see if there are any penetration areas in the roof deck. If it’s tarred, make sure there aren’t any cracks. The same goes for the flashing around the chimney. If you're not comfortable on a ladder, you can use binoculars to make the roof inspection from below.

2) Clean out any debris in your gutters, downspouts and run-outs, so that the water runs smoothly off and away from your roof and house.

3) Check to make sure your doors and windows don’t have any light cracks. This is easier to do in the brighter days of summer. If you see light leaks, you probably also have air leaks. You can also check for air leaks by holding a lighter near a door or window frame, and if the flame flickers you have air leaks. Replace the weather stripping and re-caulk as needed.

4) Make sure all your indoor and outdoor lighting is working. Outside security lights should be checked, as we don’t always see them go and off at night.

5) Replace furnace filters.

6) Clean lint out of the dryer vent.

7) If you have a basement, make sure the windows are sealed, just as you would with windows on the main floors of your house.

8) Check for cracks in your driveway or pavement around your house. Small cracks bigger that 1/8” can become huge and costly headaches in the winter months. Patching them up ahead of time is a good idea.

9) Check to make sure water drains properly away from your home’s foundation. Water that doesn’t drain away from your house can cause flooding during heavy rains.

10) If your area is subject to freezing, turn off shut-off valves that serve outside faucets, then open the outside faucet and drain the line of any water that could freeze inside. If you don’t have shut-off valves, simply place Styrofoam faucet covers over the outside faucets.