Fall has truly begun in Seattle this week, with leaves changing color seemingly overnight, and warm temperatures giving way to crisp fall air. Before you begin cozying up inside for the months ahead, there are several things you can do to prepare your home and yard for wet, cold weather. Here are some tips for making sure you and your house make it through the cold season unscathed:
- If you’re handy and can safely do it yourself, make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris. If not, hire a professional to do it for you.
- Make sure your roof is in good shape. The last thing you want is a roof leak in the middle of the rainy season!
- Trim back shrubs and bushes at the base of your house. Anything that can trap water near your home’s foundation is a recipe for water damage, so make sure your landscaping directs water away from your house.
- Make sure your home is air- and water tight. In addition to saving you money on energy costs, making sure your house is sealed up makes it more comfortable and prevents potential water damage. Make sure your windows and doors are weatherstripped and are sealing tightly, and if drafts are still sneaking in under your doors, consider using a “door snake” for additional insulation.
- If you have a fireplace, have the inside and chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional, and give the exterior a good scrubbing yourself. Porch.com has some great tips on how to clean your fireplace here.
- Winterize your outdoor faucets and pipes. Read tips on winterization here from Seattle Public Utilities.
- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning correctly. Washington state law states that you must have a carbon monoxide detector installed outside of each sleeping area and on each floor of your house.
- Do some yard maintenance to ensure safety. Since it will most likely be dark when you leave your house in the morning and when you come home in the evening, consider installing outdoor lights. Solar-powered options cost you nothing in energy costs, and many models switch on automatically at dusk and turn off at dawn. No brainer. Also, make sure your walkways and porches are free of cracks, moss, and leaves that can make them slippery.