Autumn Remodeling: Preparing Your Home for a Safe, Cozy Winter

From on October 25, 2007 in General Remodel

autumn remodelingIt’s early autumn - an opportune time to prepare your home for the colder winter months ahead. The weather has cooled down significantly since the piping hot days of summer, but it’s refreshing enough to spend an entire day outdoors. It’s the right season to collect your hammer and tools and hang about your yard and roof to check for damage and wear. When winter sets in, this will help ensure your cozy nights indoors will be safe and conditioned against the more temperamental weather.

Holding Down the Fort

autumn leaves on the roofThe first spot the rains will hit on the protective structure of your home will be the roof. Once you find a way to prop yourself up there safely, begin by removing the leaves, branches, and other debris carried by autumnal winds. You can do this by hand and by using a broom, then placing the debris in a large garbage bag. Afterward, hose the area down with water. Now that the surface is clear and free of potentially damaging wreckage, you can more easily check the roof for loose shingles, loose ridge vents, exposed nails, or holes to secure or patch. Exposed nails can be covered with tar and holes can be patched with silicon caulk or aluminum sheet metal.

Do the same thing with the gutters, removing debris to prevent the coming winter rain, snow, or ice from clogging or damaging the drainage system. Make sure the gutter is securely attached to the roof and that there aren’t any loose fittings. When you get off your ladder, check the entire outdoor surface of your house for rot, cracking, exposed water pipes, or other damage. For more significant damage, contact a roofing specialist early to avoid waiting during busy seasonal back-ups.

If you have trees in your yard, chances are you’ll spend a lot more time cleaning the roof. Now is a good time to trim extending branches and foliage away from your windows and power lines, where they can get entangled or break through.

Later in the season, you can prevent your outdoor faucets from freezing by shutting off the indoor control valve and letting the remaining water in the pipe run. Do the same with your hoses, running all the water still inside them before storing them away in a cold shed. Exposed outdoor pipes can then be wrapped for further protection from the cold.

If you have a deck, remove and replace loose screws. Now’s also a good time to clean the floats, goggles, galoshes, and water toys left at the poolside, pump away excess water, and clean the debris from the water and the pool cover.

More Reading in the Blogosphere about Preparing for the Winter

** Look out for our next blog to read up on several healthy precautions to take inside the house, where you will hunker down and keep yourself entertained during those beautiful winter storms.