Everyone has heard about spring cleaning, but very few people know what it means to winterize your home. It's a good idea every fall, to take a look at the house and see if it is prepared to get through another winter. At this time of year, with the foliage dying out, inspecting the house is easier, so you can tell if any shrubs are hanging onto the house. Clinging vines and the roots of plants damage siding and even bricks, so it is good to keep them cleaned off.
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Once you're done with watering for the year, you should drain all of the hose, and roll them up to be stored away. The water source to faucets outside the house should be cut, and after that these can dry out. When you believe you won't use the garden furniture once more that year, get it cleaned and stored in a dry place. You need to safeguard any young trees you might have with mulch, particularly in their first year of growth. All water drainage ditches should really be cleared so that they can cope with any heavy rains.
Fireplaces come to mind as soon as the weather starts off getting colder. Get your chimney swept soon enough, before the first cold spell, because that's generally when everyone wakes up and wants it done. When you use logs, do not delay in finding someone and getting a good supply built up. Should you find yourself in a rural area, check for local residents selling firewood without advertising. Even if you don't use a fireplace, make sure that any smoke alarms will work. Some people leave Christmas lights up all year, and the cables should be checked for flexibility. If you typically install storm windows, now is the time to do it. Summer dries out weather-stripping, therefore check if they need changing.
Establish the effective working order of the range hood filters, since during winter the windows are mostly closed. Perform a review of the ground-slope all around the house, ensuring that it falls away from the walls. Water bleeding out into the basement and the foundation can cause serious problems. The first affect is wet rot, which sooner or later leads to dry rot, and this is definitely something to be averted anywhere in your home. You should check for seepage frequently.
You must look for leaks, the most at risk places being the roof, gutters, down-pipes and inside plumbing. It's a given, but all of the leaks should be repaired. Cover any exterior pipes, undoubtedly so if your house is older, and cut down drafts by placing a cover over air-conditioning units. Dust is more quickly detected in winter months, so shampooing the carpets is recommended. You should use the opportunity to clean the windows.