The month of November is the perfect time to start getting your home ready for winter. There are some tasks that are much easier to complete while the weather is still reasonably warm and there's no snow on the ground. This week, I thought I'd share a few items that should be on your home maintenance checklist for November.
Clean the Gutters
It's a good idea to remove leaves and twigs from your gutters and downspouts. Be sure to ask a family member or friend to hold the ladder as you do your work. Rainwater that's not allowed to move freely through your gutters can damage your roof. Plus, when clumps of leaves clog a downspout, water is not able to move away from your home and could eventually damage its foundation. If you don't feel confident about getting up on a ladder and looking into your gutters, there are professionals who can give your gutters a thorough cleaning.
Inspect Your Porch Railings and Outside Steps
It's important to make sure that your porch railings are sturdy before the cold weather sets in. You want to have a strong railing to hold onto if your porch becomes slippery after a snowfall. Also, inspect any outside steps to see that the concrete isn't broken or chipped. This sort of damage can make steps all the more treacherous when it snows.
Clean Indoor Vents and Change the Furnace Filter
As the temperatures begin to drop, it's a smart idea to vacuum the dust and dirt out of the vents in your home. Also, replace your old furnace filter with a new one. The goal is to do everything you can to allow warm air to circulate freely throughout your home. I like to adjust the vent openings as I make sure they are all free of dust and cobwebs.
Clean the Fireplace and Chimney
I love to light that first log in the fireplace each autumn; don't you? If you have a fireplace that you love to use throughout the winter, be sure to include it on your November maintenance checklist. Sweep out the ashes and throw away the remains of any burnt logs or newspaper. As a note, creosote and soot can accumulate in a chimney, creating a fire hazard, so you may want to think about having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional.
Prep Your Shed
Prepare your shed for winter by inspecting its windows. Replace worn-out weatherstripping to keep the cold air and snow from creeping inside the structure. Also, check to see if any weatherstripping is needed around the door. Inspect the walls of the shed both inside and out to make sure there is no damage. Finally, put a cover over your lawnmower, tools, and other items that will stay in your shed over the cold-weather months.
Switch the Screen Door for a Storm Door
If you have a screen door on the front or back of your house, it's time to replace it with a storm door. A sturdy storm door can prevent warm air from escaping your home. Be sure to put a blanket or tarp over your screen door before storing it in your shed or garage for the winter. That way, it will be in great condition and ready to go back up when springtime rolls around again!
Enjoy those brisk autumn breezes, and thanks for reading. - Alan