Autumn is an easy season to get excited about, but the arrival of falling leaves means falling snowflakes aren’t far behind. Taking care of a few fall home maintenance tasks early in the season means you can sail through the rest of it and into the holidays without fearing any nasty surprises from your house. We’ve put together a list of ten things you can do now to prep yourself and your home for winter.

Protect Your Pipes

Freezing pipes are every homeowner’s nightmare, but whether you own or rent, making sure your outside faucets are disconnected is actually a quick and easy way to help protect your pipes. Shut off the valve that brings water to those faucets, then turn the spigot on to drain. Drain your hoses and store them while you’re at it, that way they’ll be in good shape come spring.

Clean Your Gutters

Going into winter with leaf-clogged gutters can mean disaster when snow arrives. Avoid damage to the gutters and the resulting repairs by having your gutters cleaned now– and think about installing gutter guards to keep leaves and other junk from jamming them up again while you’re at it.

Inspect Your Chimney

Having a professional come regularly to inspect and clean your chimney is a fire safety measure as well as smart homeownership. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, your house’s existing chimney is often used as a vent for your heating system, and can be a source of entry for birds and other wildlife. Make sure your chimney and chimney cap are in good shape; you won’t regret it.

Clean Your Dryer Vent

Lint buildup in your dryer vent is another fire hazard, especially if you live in an area where the vent outlet can get covered by snow. A gunked-up vent can also affect the energy efficiency of your dryer. Luckily this is an easy DIY; Home Depot has instructions here:

Service Your HVAC

Your HVAC systems should be inspected and serviced every year, and the pros agree early fall is the ideal time for it. Checking your heating system before you turn it on for the season will mean you’re not sitting wrapped around a space heater while you wait for a repairman.

Seal Your deck

Especially if your region gets lots of snow and other winter weather, your deck will need some protection before the storms arrive. Having your deck power-washed and resealed as part of your fall home maintenance can help prevent some of that damage, which means fewer repairs and a longer lifespan for your deck.

Test All Your Safety Devices

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors usually start alerting you once their batteries get low, but it’s never a bad idea to check them yourself. Having a non-expired fire extinguisher in your kitchen and near the fireplace is an important safety measure, and getting your home checked for radon is a good thing to do in the fall as well, especially if it’s been a few years since the (typically) mandatory radon check performed as part of the home-buying process.

Clean Your Carpets

Fall is a great time to do any projects that require open windows for ventilation, which means it’s the perfect time to have your carpets cleaned. You can rent a steam cleaner from a local hardware store, or call a professional to take care of it for you.

Check and Repair Your Roof

Between leaks, ice dams, and the general wear and tear of storms, roofs take a beating during the winter. Pre-empting that damage requires more than just a visual inspection, so you should have a professional roofer check for soft spots, loose shingles, and leaks. They’ll also be able to tell you what needs to get done before the snow starts.

Stock Up on Winter Supplies

If you’ve ever tried to buy a bag of ice-melt in the days before a blizzard, you know stocking your shelves ahead of time is a smart move. Beyond salt and sand for your walkways and driveway, you’ll want to restock your home and car first-aid kits, check the condition of your snow shovels and ice scrapers, buy fuel for your wood or pellet stove, and get your snow blower tuned up and fueled.

How Golden Lenders Can Help

Golden Lenders has more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry – just the expertise you need for a successful outcome. Our team of mortgage consultants work to simplify the process for you, while educating you on this complex process. Our priority is customer service. It is our goal to make this process as easy and convenient as possible while getting you the best deal on your loan. We work with borrowers of every type from those who want to buy their first home, refinance the house they are in now or have credit challenges. Whether its your first home or you’re an experienced home buyer, we’re here to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.