Oct 8, 2014

Fall is in full swing. The leaves are beginning to turn, deciding to leave your jacket behind is becoming less and less of an option, and there's pumpkin flavored everything at your local coffee shop. We hate to say it, but hot on the heels of fall's arrival is a particularly unsavory character: Old Man Winter. It may be too soon to start talking about this dreaded season, (the amount of snow we are or aren't getting does tend to dominate most conversations for about three months so let's give it a rest for now), but it's not too early to prepare for winter's effects on your home. The blustery winds, severe snowfalls, and freeze-thaw cycles we experience during the winter can be hard on properties. So before the snow begins to fall and the ever-dropping temperature makes it harder and harder to be outside comfortably, try tackling the winter prep maintenance we've outlined below - your home and your wallet will thank you.

1. Seal up your home - Use caulking or weatherstripping to seal any of your home's cracks. Pay close attention to your foundation, windows, and doors. Although these little openings may seem inconsequential, fixing them will help to keep the heat in your home - when houses aren't sealed properly they get drafty and costly to heat. Not only that, it can also make a difference when it comes to deterring bugs and pests who are looking for a warm place to hide out from the cold.

Image via House & Home

2. Inspect your roof - As long as it's safe, get up on your roof and check or any damaged shingles or flashings. (If your roof is too steep to look at safely, grab your binoculars and take a look from a more reasonable height). If you notice any areas that look suspect, contact a roofing specialist. Should you encounter a problem, you want to make sure to catch it before there's a pile of snow on your roof slowly melting and seeping into your attic or forming an ice dam. Not sure where to find a reliable roofing company? Check out referral websites like Angie's List and HomeStars. Their user reviews will help you find a reputable individual or company to work with.

Image via House & Home

3. Change your furnace filter - You should be checking your filter about once a month. If it has accumulated a considerable amount of dust, it's time to change or clean it, (depending on the type of filter you have - some are disposable, some aren't). If your filter isn't dirty, put it back and check it again next month. Clean filters help your furnace to operate more efficiently and can even prolong its lifespan.

Tip: Measure your furnace filter before you go to the hardware store to buy a new one.

Image via Bob Vila

Home maintenance is one of the less fun things about fall's arrival, so we have to ask: what's your favorite thing about fall? What are you most looking forward to? We're definitely excited about our fall home shows! Check out the Marketplace Events home show nearest you to get expert advice and inspiration for every area of your home - US Shows & Canadian Shows.