We talk with you a lot about things you can do to prepare your home for winter from both plumbing and heating perspectives, including getting your furnace checked out and preventing frozen pipes.  But there are other things you can do.  Here are some.

  1. Foliage.  Trim your plants, shrubs, and trees, especially those that may be in contact with your home.  As the wind blows, the contact with foliage can damage your siding, roof, etc.  Plus, the foliage also provides access points for termites and other insects.  Make sure to also remove any vines from the siding.
  2. Gutters.  Make sure all debris is removed from your gutters and flush the downspouts to make sure water and melting snow and ice can flow smoothly.  Also check for leaks while you are flushing.  Finally make sure the water from the downspouts is flowing AWAY from your home.
  3. Roof.  While you are checking the gutters, inspect the roof for wear and tear.
  4. Siding.  Cracks and openings in the siding can cause severe damage, especially in winter.  If you find cracks, contact a licensed contractor.
  5. Windows and doors.  Seal and/or caulk any leaks around your windows and doors.  That will keep your home warmer, and cut down on energy costs.
  6. Paint the exterior.  If you have not painted the exterior in your home in a while, fall would be a great time to do it.  Just make sure the temperature is above freezing.
  7. Garden hoses.  Remove the garden hoses from their exterior spigots (even if they are anti-freeze spigots).  If you do not remove the garden hoses, you risk having a flood in your basement.
  8. Exterior water valves.  Purchase water covers for your exterior water valves.  This can prevent frozen or burst pipes.
  9. Lawn.  Clear the leaves off your lawn and then aerate it.  Fall is a great time to do that.  Then drain your irrigation system to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.  Finally either drain the gas from your lawn mower or add a fuel stabilizer.