It’s no secret — winter can be harsh here in Northern Colorado. With sub-zero temperatures, several inches of snow, and powerful gusts of wind, our houses and yards can take a beating. That’s why it’s important to prepare your home for the upcoming winter weather as best as you can!
But if you do these tasks in the middle of December, you may have missed the boat. So it’s best to prepare for colder weather before it arrives. Take a weekend or two tackling these home maintenance chores to give your home the best fighting chance! This will ensure your home withstands the elements and stays happy and healthy for many years to come.
Although gutters certainly get filled during the fall, it’s important to clear them out as much as possible before the leaves start to fall. This prevents them from getting clogged up, which can cause water damage to your home due to overflowing. To clean them out, slip on some gloves, get on a ladder, and scoop out the leaves and debris by hand. You can then flush out the gutters and downspouts with water to ensure they are working properly. Be careful throughout this process! Cleaning gutters can be dangerous — so you may want to hire this task out if you don’t feel comfortable or don’t have the necessary equipment to get the job done.
Trust us — you don’t want to discover that your HVAC isn’t working properly during a snowstorm in the dead of winter. The time to find this out is before you actually need the heat! Be proactive by scheduling a check-up appointment with a heating and cooling company. They will ensure your system is working well and can withstand the harsh winter weather we have here in Northern Colorado. This is also a good time to swap out your air filter, which should be done seasonally, as well as any other filters throughout your home that may have collected dust and pet dander. Keeping your air filters clean can help your heating system work as efficiently as possible. Plus, if it doesn’t have to work as hard, it will be more energy-efficient!
With all those warm sunny days we’ve had this summer, it’s likely your outdoor furniture got a lot of use! Once the temps drop and you stop hanging out in the backyard as much, it’s time to store your outdoor furniture, pillows, cushions and other accessories. But be sure to give them a good clean before you put them away, so they’re fresh and ready to go once spring rolls around! For wood and metal furniture, you can power wash or wipe them down with dish soap and warm water. You can also spot clean cushions with the same water/soap mixture and throw any smaller pillows in the wash, if possible!
We love a good fall grilling moment, but there comes a certain point when it’s torturous to stand outside in the cold to grill up those burgers and hot dogs. So when it’s time to shut down the grilling operation until the warm weather returns, you’ll want to properly clean off and store your grill. That way, you’ll remove any food scraps that could get moldy or moisture that could produce rust. Follow these instructions to clean off your grill so it stays nice and clean season after season!
When your heater is working overtime in the winter, you’ll want to keep the warm air inside as much as possible, to save energy and money. Ensure your home is properly sealed by checking for gaps around your windows and doors, which are the most likely places where air can escape. There are several ways to check for air leaks, including a visual inspection, air leak detectors, and a few DIY methods involving household items. If you discover a leak, you can remedy the solution with some caulk — or some more intensive repair solutions, if needed.
While the weather is still pleasant, spend some time inspecting your driveway, walkways and patio for any damage or cracks. When temperatures drop, asphalt and concrete can crack and move, so it’s wise to address any vulnerabilities before the problem worsens. If you discover any blemishes, fill the cracks with concrete or sand to prevent them from growing. If left untreated, minor cracks can turn into major problems down the road!
As soon as it’s cold enough to light up the fireplace, you’ll want it to be free from dust, cobwebs or soot. Before that glorious day comes, take some time to clean out your fireplace — either by yourself or with the help of a professional. In fact, it’s wise to hire a chimney sweep to thoroughly inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney before building any fires this season. This is also an excellent time to store up enough wood to get you through the winter!
It’s smart to check your roof on a regular basis, as it is so vital to the overall health of your home — and an expensive thing to replace, if things get out of hand! So before fall is in full swing, check the roof for any leaves, rocks, twigs and other debris that may have collected. If you’re able to and it’s safe to do so, you’ll need a tall ladder and a second person to spot you as you climb to the top. If you are unsure about safety for your particular roof or don’t feel up to the task, be sure to call a roofing professional! They can also diagnose any other issues you may not be aware of.
During the fall and winter months, our lawns and plants are fairly dormant, requiring no water — which is great news for your water bill! This is a great time to make adjustments to your sprinkler settings, either by reducing the frequency or turning them off altogether. And pretty soon, you can cover your outdoor water faucets with foam covers to protect the pipes from freezing!
Did you know that ceiling fans rotate in two different directions for a reason? That’s right — in the summer, they should rotate counterclockwise to create a downdraft of cool air. And in the winter, they should run clockwise, creating an updraft that circulates warm air throughout the room. So once the temperatures drop, switch the direction of your fans to make sure they’re going clockwise! You can usually do this with a pull chain or a remote control, for newer fans.
In the coming weeks, you’ll be storing lots of outdoor furniture and equipment, so make sure you have a clean slate by preparing your storage areas. Clear out and donate any items you no longer need, and give it a good sweep or vacuum to remove any dirt or debris. Then, reorganize the items you’re keeping and create plenty of room to store your grill, outdoor furniture, lawn mower, and other yard tools.
Now that all the chores are out of the way, it’s time to enjoy the rest of the fall season!
Posted InDo It Yourself, Home Inspiration | UnderFall, Home Inspiration, Home Maintenance, Winter
We write about local events & home inspiration.
Search real estate in Northern Colorado.