As we say our final goodbyes to summer, it’s time to turn our attention to fall. September and October are excellent months to prep your Northern Virginia home for the cooler months ahead. There are tasks you must complete to ensure the safety and stability of your home during the winter season. Use this checklist as a guide to prep your home’s exterior from top to bottom.
Inspect Your Roof
There’s nothing like an inefficient roof to ruin your winter. When the cold weather precipitation starts to fall, make sure your home is up for the task of keeping it out. Check your roof for curled, buckled, cracked, or missing shingles. Bald spots or lots of granules in your gutters are signs that you need roof repairs or replacement. Corroded flashing and leaking vents are also problem areas. End of summer is the perfect time of year for roof inspections, as you have time to schedule replacement before winter hits.
Check the Chimney
A nice toasty fire can be the perfect solution to cold winter nights. Unfortunately, this might not be an option if your fireplace and chimney aren’t working correctly. Clear out old ash, charred wood, and other debris from your fireplace. Hire a professional to clean the chimney stack and to check the mortar. A chimney and fireplace inspection can prevent hazards such as fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
As the leaves start to fall, your gutters will quickly become clogged and ineffective. Prior to the first snow of the season, you must clear your gutters of summer and fall debris. Otherwise, you could have clogged, leaking, or broken gutters on your hands. Installing gutter guards at this time of year can make your fall cleaning much easier.
Don’t Ignore Insulation
Inspect your attic to make sure insulation is in proper working order. Pest infestations, torn or missing insulation, or damp insulation can lead to a cold and energy-inefficient home in cold weather. Hire a professional to replace old insulation and to repair larger issues that may have damaged your insulation. Your home’s insulation is one of the best things to keep out cold drafts and moisture during snow storms.
Study Your Siding
The state of your siding can make a considerable difference when it comes to your home’s comfort and protection from the elements. Damaged siding can let in and trap moisture, leading to issues such as mildew and wood rot. It can also contribute to cold drafts and wasted energy in the winter. Look for issues such as peeling or faded siding. This can point to UV damage that has compromised your siding. Hire a professional to repair or replace these problems sooner rather than later.