It’s not just Washington DC real estate owners who are preparing for the cold months ahead – but the entire country! It’s the season almost everyone looks forward to: days of bright brown and orange leaves, coupled with nights of sipping hot chocolate. While it’s wonderful to imagine nice and cozy days ahead, it’s important to note that this would only be possible if a home is maintained for the upcoming change in weather. With the freezing air comes low temperatures and possible snow – rather detrimental elements to a splendid home or apartment. To have a more enjoyable fall season with friends and family, check out these tips for overall home maintenance care.
•Keep gutters/roofs/downspouts clean and sweep the backyard for debris. For a more gardener-friendly approach, mulch the dried leaves and leave it out until Spring instead of raking them (this will provide nutrition for plants in Spring).
•Clean and store outdoor decorations and furniture. For lawnmowers and other outdoor equipment, have them serviced before storing them. This will guarantee that they’ll be in quality condition and be ready to use for the next season.
•Replace AC and heater filters, dust and test smoke detectors (if any), replace worn-out parts for appliances, and clean the furnace/chimney.
•Polish floors (but do not wax) and clean kitchen gadgets such as the coffeemaker and oven.
•Check doors, windows, and the attic for insulation. Gaps should be filled and a professional should be called in for repairs if necessary. Do not ignore improper padding in the attic since it will cause a snow dam during severe weather.
•Prepare the fireplace/heaters/boilers. Discard ashes, check for pressure and/or leaks, and hire a professional for a good final sweep of these essentials.
•Drain the hot water system if using one.
•Stock up on winter essentials. More than just winter clothing, be sure to include ice melts or rock salts in the shopping cart.
•Repair the roof if there are loose shingles. This will protect the home from drafts and/or attic flooding come Spring time.
•Drain all faucets, sprinklers, and pipes beforehand. If any water is left, it could freeze and damage the system, causing more expenses (not to mention headaches).
•Install an extension to the downspout so that water will flow at least three to four feet away from the house foundation.
•One of the main problems during cold season is the number of unwelcome guests who might take shelter in the attic or basement. To prevent this, install screens in these areas and ensure that there are very little hiding places (such cupboards, shelves, or huge boxes).
•Have a professional pest control serviceman take a look at the home before the temperatures finally drop. Trapped mice or squirrels may cause unpleasant odors which are discovered only too late.
It seems that there’s not much time for rest. Don’t worry though – keeping the home a safe and wonderful haven for upcoming conditions will ensure a festive mood for everyone!