Have you just moved into a new home in Grand Rapids or the surrounding area? Are you planning a move in the very near future? Don’t forget to perform some seasonal maintenance before settling in to ensure your home can withstand the harsh effects of the impending winter. A bit of preventive maintenance now will go a long way later toward preventing large, expensive repairs and headaches.
Here are eight tips on how to prepare your home for the fall and winter seasons.
1. Clear Out Gutters
Once all the leaves have fallen from the trees, it’s time to remove the debris that is cluttering up your gutters. If you ignore this task, your gutters will only get heavier and heavier with rain and leaves, eventually pulling away from your siding. Also, clogged gutters don’t allow water to freely flow down and away from your foundation. They also encourage pest infestation.
Scoop out the gutters and check for any damage that should be repaired. Make sure your downspouts are positioned correctly as well.
2. Store Outdoor Furniture
Now that the season for backyard pool parties and get-togethers is quickly coming to an end, it’s time to clean, protect and store your outdoor patio furniture. How you approach this task will depend on what material the furniture is made of.
For wooden furniture, you will have to reseal it for protection and then cover it tightly. For metal furniture, seal it with wax or paint to prevent corrosion. For plastic and wicker furniture, just wash it with a garden hose and mild soap. Bring all cushions indoors so mold doesn’t form and pests don’t make a home in them.
3. Seal Your Home
Air leaks throughout your home will reduce your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. This is why you should take a walk through the house, inside and out, and seal any leaks or gaps you see. Warm air will escape easily from broken seals and cracks, making your HVAC system have to work much harder than it should. The result? High energy bills and lower comfort through the winter months.
Using caulk and weatherstripping, seal windows and doors, then cover your kitchen exhaust fan when not in use, and seal air leaks around your furnace, chimney, and water heater vents.
4. Clean or Change Filters
You should be doing this on a regular basis, but since this is your first season in the new home, be extra vigilant about this. That’s because heater and furnace filters attract dust that would otherwise get imbedded in your upholstery, carpets, and other surfaces.
Clogged filters make it tough to maintain consistent, comfortable temperatures while increasing your utility bills. Monthly cleanings can remedy this, plus ensure better indoor air quality for your family.
You can clean filters with a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If they have been re-used too often or are just not staying clean, you may want to change the filter entirely. In general, you can clean disposable filters once before replacing them. Seeing as it’s a new home for you, it’s best to start fresh with new filters. This way, you will be able to get on a firm schedule for replacement and cleaning.
For foam filters, you can clean them but don’t have to replace them unless damaged.
5. Clean the Oven
One of the more dreaded household chores, cleaning the oven can’t be ignored. However, it’s important – especially since you just moved in. You want to start with a fresh slate. Fall is a good time for a deep clean of the oven especially as the holiday season is fast approaching and you will probably be eating and entertaining a lot.
You can purchase household cleaners or you can make your own solution with white vinegar and water.
6. Test Winter Equipment
The last thing you want to do is try to start up your snow blower during the next snow storm only to find that it doesn’t work. Be well prepared for Mother Nature and perform checks of all your winter equipment, including snow blowers and shovels. Stock up on gas for your blower or generator, as well as extra firewood.
7. Clean the Chimney
Got a wood-burning fireplace in the new place? That’s great, but you have to clean it often, especially if you use it every day. Clear out the soot and debris from the chimney that may remain from the last homeowners, or hire a chimney sweep.
It’s always best to hire a pro for this, as they come equipped with the right tools and supplies to get the job done safely and correctly. Plus, you won’t have to contend with the mess.
8. Conduct an Inspection
We know you probably had an inspection done before you bought the house, but it’s still a good idea to conduct your own. This way, you can come up with a baseline for all the systems in your home. Keep a checklist and update it often so you can refer to it every season. Check the roof, siding, driveways, garages, attics, HVAC system and more. Make necessary repairs before winter sets in.
Contact Big Lake Movers
If you’re facing a big move in Grand Rapids and need help relocating all your stuff to the new place, look to our team to help you. We can help you start off your new journey on the right foot, thanks to expertise in residential, commercial, office and apartment moves, as well as packing and moving labor. Call us today in Grand Rapids at 616-877-9091for a free quote.