How to Prepare Your Home for the Fall
With fall just around the corner, now is the perfect time for homeowners to prepare for the onset of colder weather. Changing temperatures, unfavorable weather conditions, and natural deterioration can lead to expensive repairs. Autumn is the ideal time to check your homeowner’s insurance policy and update your coverage. Additionally, there are a few more preparations to consider that can help you save time and money before the holiday season begins.
Prepare Heating and Fireplaces
As autumn approaches, you’ll be thinking about turning on the heating and lighting up the fireplace. To ensure your heating is working safely and efficiently, follow these simple steps.
- Clean out old ashes from the fireplace and open the damper to ensure airflow.
- Hire a chimney sweep to ensure damper handles, springs, and airflow is functioning correctly.
- Replace the furnace filter if necessary.
- Check the HVAC if you’ve been running the air conditioner during the summer.
Check the Insulation
Most homes lose a majority of heat through doors and windows. Check the insulation to ensure that your home stays draft-free throughout the colder months. A few easy steps will ensure that your house is well-insulated for fall.
- Check caulking and sealings around windows and doors.
- Examine door and window frames for cracks.
- Consider heavy curtains for added insulation.
- Insulate water pipes that could potentially be exposed to freezing temperatures.
- Add new weather stripping to doors and windows where needed.
Examine the Roof, Gutters, and Drainage
The roof and gutters are often neglected since they aren’t located directly at eye level. However, a leaky roof can cause a multitude of problems from water damage to mold. Take these precautions to make sure your roof and gutters are ready for fall.
- Remove debris from the gutters and check for drainage issues.
- Repair any loose pieces of downspouts or gutters.
- Examine openings around the roof such as skylights and chimneys for leakage problems.
- Tend to that leaky faucet to avoid a broken pipe in winter.
Additionally, it may be wise to consider a mold insurance policy. Mold not only causes physical damage to your home but can also be disastrous for your health. Learn more about mold here.
Prepare the Hot Water Heater
- For those living in areas with particularly hard water, and even those without, sediment can build up in the water heater over time. Take the following steps to prevent issues with your water heater.
- Drain the tank to avoid rust buildup.
- If your water heater is old or starting to rust, consider replacing it with a new one before cold weather hits.
- Switch to an energy-efficient water heater. It could save you money in the long-run.
Tend to the Garden
The winter months can make walkways slippery and potentially cause an accident. Before the ground is too cold, check for cracks and loose pavement. It’s also the perfect time to prepare your garden for the changing seasons.
- Clean and store outdoor furniture, pools, and equipment that could face weather damage.
- Service your garden tools, sharpen lawnmower blades, fill up fluids, and tend to other equipment that you will store away for the winter.
- Fertilize your lawn and check the irrigation system. If you have a pool, clean the filters before covering it for the winter.
Inspect Smoke Detectors and Electricity
Autumn is the ideal time to replace all the batteries in your smoke detectors. Similarly, check fire extinguishers to make sure they’re in working condition. Complete these steps to make sure your house is safe for fall.
- Change filters in dryers, fans, and stove vents.
- Clean exhaust ducts and remove dirt and lint from behind dryers.
- Check electrical outlets for damage and loose
Update Your Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
Colder weather means more risks for homeowners. Taking precautions now and preparing your home for fall can save tremendous time, energy, resources, and nerves in the future. Remember to perform an audit of your insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for any disasters that could occur.
Fires, snow and water damage, and power outages are more likely to happen during the fall and winter. During the holidays, candles, electrical outlets, and fireplaces pose an especially dangerous risk. Learn more about homeowner’s insurance add-ons that can further protect you during the fall.
To learn more about homeowner’s insurance, contact the experts at Demont Insurance Agency at (850) 942-7760. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.