With the arrival of fall, there are some key things a homeowner must do to keep their home comfortable in cold weather and protect their investment. The cooler days are a sign that it’s time to get to work and prepare your home for winter.

Protect the Deck

A wooden deck is vulnerable to the elements. Year-round exposure breaks down the decking boards and causes warping and splitting. Replacing a deck is expensive and time-consuming, so take care of it before winter arrives. Paint or stain the wood and seal it with a quality weather-proofing product to help it withstand rain, snow, and changing temperatures.

Seal the Driveway to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Protect concrete driveways, walkways, and patios from the elements with sealer. If your home has an asphalt driveway, this will need resealing as well. Sealing protects the materials and helps prevent water from seeping into the pavement.

Have the Heating System Inspected

The average lifespan of a heating and air system is around 15 years. However, an HVAC unit can last longer if it has been maintained properly. Before heading into winter, hire an HVAC technician to inspect your system to make sure it is clean and working properly. This will help you feel confident that your heater will work well to keep your home comfortable throughout the winter.

Prepare for Winter by Cleaning the Gutters of Your Home

Gutter-cleaning is important for maintaining your home. Clear the gutters at least twice a year but especially in fall, after most of the leaves have fallen. Clogged gutters overflow, which can damage a home’s exterior, cause leaks, and affect the foundation. Water can seep into the basement and lead to mold growth.

Check Smoke Detectors

House fires may be caused by creosote build-up in the fireplace or malfunctioning space heaters. Early fall is a great time to test the smoke detectors and make sure you have extra batteries on hand. If your devices are more than 10 years old, the entire detector should be replaced.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

In the winter, change the direction in which the ceiling fan blades spin. The blades should spin clockwise when you’re heating your home. Clockwise blades push rising hot air back down into the room. Reversing fan blades can help save you money because it keeps your living spaces warmer without the constant need to adjust the thermostat.

Check the Roof to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Include a roof inspection during your preparations for winter. Look for shingles that are cracked, curled, or missing. If there are signs of serious issues, call a professional to inspect and make repairs.

These are a few of the ways you can get your home ready for cold weather. Not only will completing these maintenance tasks make you more comfortable for the winter, but they may also prevent major problems in the spring.

Encompass Home Inspection Service provides home inspections to customers in New Jersey. Contact us to schedule our services.