There are a number of things that we should do to ensure our homes are “Fall weather ready”. Below we have outlined some of the most important tasks to check off your list to keep costs down and claims at bay.
1. Change the batteries and clean your smoke detectors
Put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, did you know that dust can accumulate and cause them to under perform? Simply use your vacuum cleaner's soft brush attachment, to clean in and around the detector’s openings. Be sure to replace any detector that is 10 years or older.
2. Clean your gutters & inspect your roof
Ensure your gutters are free of debris so that they can properly drain the thousands of gallons of water from the elements. If they have too much debris or build up, it can cause flooding and damage to the exterior of your home. While up there, make sure to take a look at your roof for debris and check for any missing shingles to prevent leaks.
3. Check for drafts
The majority of heat loss in your homes occurs through the windows. Ensure your windows are draft-free by adding or replacing your weatherstripping or by re-caulking around windows and doors.
4. Fill in any cracks in your driveway or patio
If you have any cracks in your outdoor cement, ensure you fill it with concrete crack sealer. If left untreated, water will get inside the cracks, and can freeze and expand turning small cracks into big ones quickly.
5. Clean out your dryer vent
Dryer vents readily accumulate lint which is highly flammable. To clean out your vent, simply unplug your dryer, pull the dryer away from the wall, remove the tube end that is attached to the wall, and then vacuum out the vent. This will not only prevent a dryer fire, it will improve the drying time of your laundry and save money.
6. Shut off and drain outdoor faucets
From the inside of your home or building, close the valve that controls the water to the outdoor faucet(s). Then disconnect any hose or attachment from the outdoor faucet and store them away until spring. Finally, open the faucet for a few seconds to allow any residual water to drain out of the pipe.
7. Trim trees and bushes
Trim back any overgrown trees or bushes close to your home. Also, note any overgrown trees near surrounding power lines and electrical wires and call your city to advise they need to be cut back. This will help decrease the risk of property damage and power outages during wind storms.