Now that summer is past, and it was a relatively wet and cool one, It is again time to start thinking about winter and what we need to do to prepare our homes for the colder weather.
Step 1: Clean gutters. Fall brings leaves and other debris to the gutters. Cleaning may be required more than one time since leaves drop all during the fall. Having clean gutters can prevent gutter back up which can cause basement seepage, foundation damage, ice blockage in the gutters and soffit/fascia damage.
Step 2: Check your exterior surfaces. Be sure that caulking around windows and doors is in good condition. Caulk open joints. Air leakage can be an energy drain and increase utility bills. Open joints can also allow moisture intrusion. Repair any rotted trim or wood sections. Paint as needed. TIP: When replacing wood, prime and paint all sides prior to installing.
Step 3: Check for areas that need to be painted and paint as needed. Use good quality paint and properly prepare the surfaces for improved longevity.
Step 4: Check decks for loose or deteriorated boards. Replace damaged boards and secure loose ones, preferably with galvanized screws. Secure all loose connections. Apply a good coat of sealing stain or paint.
Step 5: Power rake and aerate the yard. Both pieces of equipment can be rented however that is becoming more difficult or there are lawn care services that provide this service. In some cases lime may be also needed.
Step 6: In all cases, good fall fertilization is suggested.
Step 7: Disconnect all hoses prior to the first hard freeze. Turn off the interior valves and open
the exterior valves. Store hoses on the interior once drained.
Step 8: Trim shrubs and trees limbs away from the home. Shrubs, vines and trees should not
touch the home. During the dry times water the vegetation before the winter season sets in.
Step 9: For those with an asphalt driveway the fall is a good time to seal the cracks and apply a
full surface sealer. There are many good products available. Seal cracks and then apply
loose sand to the crack. This will help make the repair last longer.
Step 10: Concrete driveways should also be sealed periodically with a good quality sealer. This
helps limit the effects of weather and salts brought in from the street. Concrete product
supply companies generally carry several grades of good concrete sealers for concrete.
Step 12: For those with an irrigation system, it should be closed for the season. All water in the
lines should be blown out. Professionals with the proper equipment are recommended.
Step 13: Pools should be professionally closed.
Step 14: If your furnace filter has not been changed recently replace it.
Step 15: Take a good hard look at your foundation and see if any new cracks exist or some of the existing ones have gotten larger.
Step 16: Since the last few weeks have been dry it would be wise to water all of the shrubs and trees.
Step 17: Routine maintenance of your furnace is advised prior to the heating season. We suggest this be done professionally. This should include checking it for safe operation, as well as service of humidifiers and electronic air cleaners. Generally, HVAC companies will mail notices and savings coupons.
Step 18: If you have a vacant property, be sure to turn the water off and winterize the plumbing.
One last note: Get a jump on planning any Christmas decorations before it gets cold and the weather becomes uncomfortable to install things such as gutter hooks for lighting.
Gerry Loesch, P.E., ASHI
39 years Experience
For Building Inspections and foundation consulting Call 314-249-8370
*This guide was created by Gerry Loesch, for the pdf version he created click here.