7 Easy Ways to Prepare Your Property for Autumn

As much as we don’t want to admit it summer is gone again. Summer never seems to stay as long as we’d want so let’s look at the bright side; autumn has charms of its own.  Fall carries the benefits of vibrant colors all around. You get to wear your sweaters and light jackets.  The stifling heat of summer is behind us, and there is no need to run you’re Air-conditioning 24/7.

In some ways, Autumn is one of the most romantic seasons, with glorious sunsets. But Autumn has challenges as well as charms.  So, with that in mind, I thought I’d scour the internet to find a few pointers for preparing for cooler weather, and eventually for winter. And here they are; a list of ways to winterize your home:

1. Get a heating system / furnace inspection

You’ll be relying on your furnace to keep you comfortable for the coming months.  So, take a look at replacing filters and if necessary, see when was the last time you had your heater serviced.  That way, you’ll be toasty warm during winter’s coldest months.

2. Get a roof inspection

Much like your furnace, your roof is the first line of defense when it comes to the raging elements of winter. Arranging an inspection just as Autumn begins is one of the best ways of making sure that you’re secure. I just called my roofer; they’re already scheduling out 3 -4 weeks just for an inspection. So, this is one to do you shouldn’t put off!

3. Inspect your doors and windows for air leaks

What’s involved here is the inspection of your insulation, your windows, and the general state of things when it comes to heat retention in your home. During the winter months, you want to be comfortable in your home, and not pay through the nose for the privilege.  The cost of an inspection may offset the skyrocketing costs running your heater a few extra hours a day.

4. See to your garden

Clear out weeds, and spent annuals, apply mulch, and basically help your garden prepare for a winter. Recent news reports are predicting an “el nino” year in California. Applying a little extra mulch now may help the dry soils absorb any extra rain and thus reduce soil erosion.

5. Inspect your fireplaces and chimneys

One of the best things about cooler weather is the privilege of building a roaring fire.  But, before you do that, make sure that your chimney and the firebox are clean.  Make sure that airflow is the best it can be to allow for a pleasant experience of watching the flames dance.

Sitting by the fireplace on an autumn evening

** For new residents to Silicon Valley fireplace smoke can negatively impact air quality. As such when the smoke exceeds healthy levels the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) can call a “Spare the Air” day. On Spare the Air days you are not allowed to burn fires or use charcoal grills.

6. Consider sealing driveways, pavers, and decks

Another occurrence common in winter is the splitting and cracking of exterior surfaces.  This happens when moisture seeps in, and then freezes.  The moisture then expands, creating unsightly cracks and splits. This can cost you. So, it makes sense to take care of it as you prepare your home for winter. The best way to do this is to look into the specific sealers for wood decks, for natural stone pavers, and for your driveway too.

7. Put together an emergency kit for winter

In winter, power lines go down, and heavy rains can make road travel inadvisable.  So, one thing to think about when neither of these is a problem now, is to think about gathering your emergency kit just in case.  Some things to include will be dry or non-refrigerated foods, candles, flashlights and batteries, canned food, bottled water, and extra blankets. While you'er at it make sure you think about your pets.

It’s also a good idea to have a mobile version of your emergency kit for your car as well.  Take a look at this article about emergency kits to get a handle on what to include.

So, there you have it.  Did I miss any important topics?  Tell me in the comments section, I will amend the post going forward.

All the best,   Tom