Prevent a ‘Fall’ Out: Prepare Your Home for Autumn

Towards the beginning of September, people begin to notice that change is in the air. The air gets colder, the days get shorter, and the leaves begin to evolve into a kaleidoscopic splendor. The Autumn season is quickly approaching, and homeowners must take the proper precautions to ensure their home will survive the sometimes harsh weather conditions of the later months in the year. Here are 10 tips for home maintenance that will prepare you for fall in New England:

1. Check Your Roof and Chimney

Start by cleaning off all the dead leaves and debris, then check for any damaged or loose shingles that may become a problem later on if they are left without being repaired. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional to ensure that it is ready for the firewood that you will burn as the cold weather sets in. Make sure that you have stocked up on firewood as well, especially if you are gathering your own.

2. Repair Your Siding, If Necessary

As with your roof, make sure that the siding on your home is not damaged, and if it is, it’s important to fix the problem before the weather changes and you are no longer able to do so. You can try to fix it yourself, or call in a professional.

3. Reinforce Windows and Doors

This is one of the most important things you can do to not only prevent drafts and leaks but also to save energy, and therefore, money. Use caulk to seal up gaps along the frame of your doors and windows, which allows you to keep warm air inside and avoid a loss of energy.

4. Clean the gutters and check water drainage

Make sure that your gutters are free of dead leaves and debris, and that water has a clear path from your roof, through the downspouts and out onto the ground. Otherwise, large pools of water could collect on your roof in the fall and lead to leaks.

5. Take Apart Garden Hoses

Separate the hose from the outside spigot and turn off the faucet. Be sure that you drain the hose and store it in a dry place. This is to prevent the water that is left over from freezing and damaging the hose.

6. Check Your Sprinklers and Irrigation System

As with garden hoses, you may have to drain your sprinklers to prevent freezing when the cold weather sets in. Speak to a professional to check exactly what you should do, as this can prove to be taxing.

7. Inspect Landscaping

Check that your trees are trimmed and your plants have protective mulch around them to be ready for when the frost sets in. Also take note of any tree branches that extend over your home or driveway. Weak or dying branches are most susceptible to breaking and landing on valuable property; especially when weight is added, such as snowfall.

8. Test and/or Replace Home Protection Devices

Make the start of the Autumn season your designated time to check the batteries in all home safety devices, such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They should be equipped with fresh batteries and tested at least twice a year.

9. Store Away Seasonal Furniture

Lawn chairs, picnic tables, and other outdoor furniture should be stored away in a dry, undisturbed area to prevent weather damage.

10. Organize Your Garage/Shed

With all of your summer furniture and equipment being stored away for the season, things can get pretty tight for storage. Take the time to organize and store away your summer items and remove any liquids that can freeze during the fall/winter months.

*Bonus Tip

Winter isn’t the only season for hazardous driving conditions. Throughout Autumn, roadways will inevitably be covered with leaves that fall as the weather turns colder. After rainfall, wet leaves on the road can be just as slippery and dangerous as snow. Before the leaves even begin to change color, always review and renew, if necessary, your automobile insurance policy to ensure you’re protected from any unforeseen incidents that may occur during the latter months of the year. Call Waitte’s Insurance Agency at (860) 886-1961 or click here to double check your current coverage.

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