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Summer’s end is a total drag. We must come to terms with saying goodbye to endless sunshine, warmer days, and any lingering highs that come from time spent on vacation. There’s no way around the fact that summer’s coming to an end, which means that fall and winter are just around the corner. And before the weather takes a turn for the worse, it’s important to prepare ourselves and our homes for changing seasons. Taking a proactive, instead of a reactive, approach to end-of-summer home maintenance is the best way to save money and prevent
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Fall Prep is About Safety
Houzz is one resource that knows what they’re talking about when it comes to home maintenance and preparation. Fall and winter call for many of the same home-care procedures, and this checklist pretty much has any homeowner in a northern environment covered.
Post-summer home preparation should begin and end with safety. This means replacing batteries on smoke alarms, ensuring that carbon monoxide detectors work, and restocking emergency kits for your family and your home. Replace all air filters and have extras on hand to ensure you aren’t breathing in unnecessary grime and filth.
One detail that many don’t consider when attacking their safety checklist is detecting the presence of radon – a potentially cancer-causing gas – in the home. Radon.com explains how to go about detecting and eradicating this harmful gas.
These safety measures should ensure that you and your family don’t face significant harm in the case of a winter emergency, but there are many other steps you should take that are more cost-saving than life-saving.
Ensuring Your House is Structurally Sound
Homeowners should prepare for the worst-case scenario when it comes to fall and winter preparations. The DIY Network advises that, in the case that a region faces freezing and even below-freezing temperatures, steps be taken to prevent pipes from bursting. Or, at the least, knowing how to react if and when they do burst.
The pipes that freeze tend to be on the exterior of the home. Before the weather gets too cold, shut off the valves to these pipes, then run all of the water out of them until they are completely dried out. This will ensure that water freezing – and subsequently expanding – within the pipes won’t result in cracks and, at worst, a completely busted pipeline.
Forbes recommends examining the outside of the home too, looking for any roof damage that could lead to leaks when the snow begins to fall. In addition, examine your home’s windows and doors, feeling around the edges for any cracks where air may be flowing in or out. Follow the Essential Guide to Weatherstripping, applying seals to these gaps where cold drafts can come in and hot air can get out. Not only will this improve the comfort of your home, but it will also help you save on heating bills.
Those who live in environments where the seasons are actually marked by drastic changes in temperature and weather patterns know how much of a pain winter can be. Fall’s beauty leads ungracefully into the tasks of winter; shoveling snow, bundling up to get to work, and generally freezing our tails off. Not preparing your home can lead to leaks, mid-snowstorm repairs, and costs that could easily be avoided with a bit of pre-planning and foresight.
By Paul Denikin.