The days are getting shorter and the air is crisp. Just like animals burrowing down and building snug homes for the winter, homeowners everywhere are crossing tasks off their lists — preparing their homes for the colder months.
Daylight saving time begins this year at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1. We get an extra hour of sleep — which is fantastic — but this date should also serve as a reminder to do a few quick maintenance tasks in order to keep your home running smoothly this winter.
Here at TIMBER MART, we’re always ready to lend our expertise …
- Make sure the house is snug: Check your doors and windows for drafts, and use caulk or weather-stripping on any areas that might cause an icy January blast to creep into your house. You might also want to consider replacing old single-pane glass with double-pane glass.
- Check the roof and gutters: Snow is coming, and you don’t want your gutters to be clogged with leaves — and possibly mold and pests, too! Clogs can cause water buildup and wreck havoc on your roofing, so clean them out and make sure the downspouts aren’t going to pool water around your foundation. While you’re up there, check the flashing on your roof and look for damaged shingles.
- Tend to your lawn: Fall is actually the best time of year to care for your lawn. The roots are building up natural sugars to store over the winter, so apply some winterizing fertilizer to build a strong root system. Mid-August through late September is the best time to lay sod or over-seed your lawn, too.
- Overhaul the lawnmower: Once you’ve finished your final mow of the season, give your mower a quick tune-up so it’s ready for its long winter nap. Drain the fuel tank and let the motor run until it stops, or add a fuel stabilizer and run the motor for about five minutes to move it through the system. Tighten any fasteners, lubricate it according to the owner’s manual, clean it up, and store it in a dry spot once the engine is cool. You can also choose to take your lawnmower and trimmer in to be professionally serviced and have their blades sharpened.
- Prep for cozy fires: If you plan on using your fireplace during the colder months, now is the time to have it cleaned and inspected for creosote buildup — which can cause a chimney fire.
- Fix any leaky faucets: It’s just an annoying drip-drip-drip now, but when the temperature dips, that leaky faucet could cause a pipe to freeze and burst. It’s much less expensive to fix the problem now, and save yourself the hassle and expense of a winter plumbing emergency.
- Replace those batteries: Use Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Since the time-change happens twice a year, it’s the perfect time for this little task — then you know your batteries are always in top condition and working well. Take this opportunity to check your fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide alarms, too.
- Clean your dryer vent: This is another task that’s best done twice a year. Unplug your dryer, pull it out from the wall, and unhook the tube leading to the vent, and vacuum out the lint. Then put everything back together, go outside, and vacuum as much as you can from the outside dryer vent.