Fall has arrived. While some areas of the country are already getting blasted with inches of snow, the rest of the country is sweeping up leaves. If you're in the area sweeping up leaves, you're probably starting to take action to prepare the house for a long, harsh winter. Here, you'll find a few tips to help you get it all done before the first flake falls.
Start at the Top
A few of the most important steps that you'll take to prepare the house for the winter start at the top of the house. The roofing, gutters, and chimney all need to be inspected and tended to before too long.
Try to wait until many of the leaves have fallen from the trees that overhang your house before you begin cleaning and prepping the roof, gutters, and chimney for winter. If you get busy and get it done too quickly, the leaves will just undo what you've already done and you'll have to start over again.
One thing to be sure to do before snow falls is to clean the gutters. If the gutters are left lined with old leaves and summer debris, they will not allow the water to flow freely through them. When water is left behind and the temperatures drop, it freezes and builds up even higher. Eventually, after several days of freezing temperatures, that mound could swell to the point of extending underneath the shingles at the edge of the roof. This will lead to shingle and sub-roofing damage, wall and siding damage, window and foundation damage and all of these things will be costly to repair. If you need help, contact a gutter cleaning service to clean them for you.
Tip: When cleaning the gutters, don't forget the downspouts and the drain locations. You need to be sure that they're flowing freely so that the water doesn't back up and cause problems.
There really isn't much to do as far as preparing the ground, but you can take steps to make sure that your driveway, sidewalks, and stairs are in good condition. You don't want any loose boards, cracks, or potholes in the surfaces and you need to be sure that all of your handrails are secure. Walking on ice and snow is dangerous enough without having unstable or uneven surfaces hiding underneath it.
Talk with your local professionals for assistance in preparing your home for winter. They'll help you get it done quickly and properly so your house doesn't sustain any unnecessary damage this year.