Everybody thinks about spring cleaning, but what about fall preparation? There are many things you should do to or check on your home to ensure it’s prepared for winter. Failing to prepare now could lead to costly repairs in the spring – or mid-winter emergencies.

From the experts at Kingsford Home Improvements in Durham, NC, here are 10 things you should do to prepare your home for winter.

Seal Your Driveway, Concrete Patio, and Walkways

All concrete eventually develops cracks. During the winter, water can seep into the cracks, freeze, and expand, worsening the cracks. Before cold weather hits, apply a concrete sealer to all flat exterior concrete surfaces.

Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most house fires happen during the winter, and with houses closed up tight, it’s also prime time for carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are all functioning properly and have fresh batteries. Don’t have a carbon monoxide detector? Get one – it could save your family’s life.

Clean Your Gutters

Once most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, you need to clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters overflow and send water down the side of your home, where it contributes to the deterioration of your home’s exterior and foundation as well as causing water infiltration in your basement and under concrete porches and walkways.

Winterize You Sprinklers, Pool, and Outside Faucets

Water expands when it freezes, busting pipes and any other closed system. Get your sprinklers blown out, shut down your pool and prepare it for winter, and drain all outside faucets.

Seal, Caulk, and Paint Exterior Wood

The wood trim around your exterior doors and windows is simply 1” thick pine that can quickly deteriorate if you don’t protect it. Before winter hits each year, caulk and paint all your exterior trim. That can help you avoid the cost and hassle of having to replace it because it has rotted.

You should also check your deck to make sure it’s still protected. Pour some water on your deck, and if it soaks into the wood rather than beading up, it’s time to stain and seal your deck.

Check Your HVAC System

At the very least, you should change your filters. It’s better to have your entire system inspected by a professional. The average lifespan of an HVAC system is 12-15 years. Regular inspections and maintenance may help extend the life of your system. Besides, it’s better to discover heating problems before outdoor temperatures plummet and leave you in the cold.

Protect Your Attic From Critters

Squirrels, birds, and other small animals may try to get inside your home in the winter, so before the temperatures drop, check for any places they could get in. Trim trees so branches aren’t too close to your roof, make sure gable vents are intact, and check your soffit and fascia for holes animals could sneak through.

Prep Expensive Yard and Lawn Care Equipment

Gas can go bad, especially after freezing, so drain the gas from your mower and any other gas-powered equipment – you can pour it into your car’s gas tank rather than wasting it.

Do an Energy Audit

Check all your door seals – if you can see daylight around your door, cold air can get in. Use spray foam insulation around drafty outlets and light switches. It’s also a good idea to have a professional energy audit. The savings you see on your utility bills make it a good investment.

Prepare for Snow Removal

Make sure you have at least one good shovel before the first flakes fly so you don’t have to compete with your neighbors trying to buy the last shovel at the store. Stock up on salt for your sidewalks and sand or kitty litter for your car’s trunk. Start your snowblower and make sure it works.

Contact Kingsford Home Improvements

If, while preparing your home for winter, you discovered some repairs that are too big for you to handle yourself, contact Kingsford Home Improvements in Durham, NC today. We can help repair your roof, siding, deck, gutters, doors, and more. Our staff respects your home and privacy and will do everything possible to ensure our work doesn’t disrupt your lifestyle.