Here we are, the end of October. Summer is over and we need to start thinking about preparing for winter. Below are some recommended home maintenance tips you should consider before the snow starts to fly.
Gutters and Downspouts
If you live in an area that has tall trees, you may have gutters full of leaves and debris. Check your gutters and clear any debris from them. Make sure that your downspouts are clear so that the gutters can drain properly. Also make sure that he downspouts discharge is directed away from the home. You may have to do this a couple of time during the season to insure that any water from the roof easily flows from your roof and out into the yard, away from your foundation.
If your home has storm windows, now is the time to make sure that they are clean and in good condition. Preparing them for installation now while the temperatures are still mild will make it easier to install when you are ready to pull the screens and install your storm windows in a couple of weeks.
Doors and Windows
Doors and windows should be inspected to insure they close and seal properly. The most commonly damaged seal on doors is the threshold seal at the bottom. Make sure it is in good condition. Replace if damaged. Check the weather stripping around the rest of the doors and windows. Adjust, add or replace if there are gaps or damage. Proper weather stripping and seals will keep the moisture and cold air outside where it belongs, and will help to control your energy costs.
You should perform an inspection of your dryer vents at least twice a year. Make sure that they are not have lint build up and that the exterior flapper works properly. Short runs can be cleaned with a shop vac. Longer runs may need to have a brush snaked through them, or be cleaned professionally. Clogged dryer vents result in longer, energy consuming, dry times as well as a potential fire hazard. A half inch build up of lint in a 4 inch duct reduces the opening by 5.5 square inches.
Rodents know winter is coming so they are on the lookout for their winter homes. Make sure that all exterior openings are sealed. In addition, make sure that all exterior vents are screened. Mice can squeeze through a ¼ inch home, so if you leave openings larger than that, you will most probably have some winter guests.