With summer behind us, fall in our midst, and winter on the horizon, you may be wondering, “What should I get done to my house in the fall?” If you live in an especially cold area like Aurora or Naperville, you might also be wondering about how to protect your home from frozen pipes. The BrickKicker is here to answer all of your questions. We’ve put together a fall season checklist you can follow to make sure your house is ready for dropping temps and more! If you find you need a home inspection along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us and make an appointment!
Fall Seasonal Checklist
- Check Your Home for Water Leaks: If you have a leak, it will raise your water bill and waste water. When the temps start to drop, if your pipe freezes, it could widen the leak and exacerbate the problem.
- Have a Heating Professional Check Your Heating System: Chicagoland has some of the most brutal winters in the U.S. If your HVAC goes out in February, and you’re unprepared, you’ll probably need to live elsewhere until you get a new heating system installed. To prevent that scenario, it’s best to check up on the condition of your HVAC in the fall.
- Protect Your Home from Frozen Pipes: Insulate all of your pipes before winter hits, so that you don’t have to worry about them freezing and bursting. You can use heat tape or pipe insulation. We also recommend constantly running your thermostat at 67 degrees or above, and continuously running your faucets at just the slightest trickle.
- Have a Certified Chimney Sweep Inspect Your Flues and Check Your Fireplace Damper: Whether you have a gas or wood burning chimney, you need to have it inspected and cleaned every year. This not only helps to drive out pests who’ve taken up residence in your flue, but it also helps to keep you safer when you start to light your chimney up in the cold winter months. A chimney sweep can inspect your gas lines for leaks and the rest of your system for faulty components, helping to ensure that it isn’t at risk for an explosion or a carbon monoxide leak.
- Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts: Although it may be in the form of snow or sleet, your gutters funnel a much greater amount of water in the winter. You need to be sure that they’re clear of blockages. If any ice dams settle in your gutters or downspouts, they can freeze and cause damage to your roof.
- Change the Batteries in Your Smoke and Carbon Detectors/Alarms: It’s time to change the batteries out in your carbon detectors and alarms. We assume that you’ll be firing up the hearth come winter, but even if you’re not, your gas lines are more vulnerable to develop leaks in the cold, so make absolutely sure your carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms are in great shape!
- Replace Windows Screens with Storm Windows: We recommend replacing your window screens with storm windows. They’re great at trapping heat inside your house, which will keep you and your pipes warmer, all while keep your gas bill down!
Have Questions? Turn to the BrickKicker for Help
Now that you know how to protect your home from frozen pipes and what you should get done to your house in the fall, if you feel you’re wondering, “How do I get my home ready for fall?” give us a call! Our number is 800-821-1820. We’re a leading home inspection company in Chicagoland and have locations all over the metroplex. Our home inspectors can take a close look at your house, and ensure you know everything that needs to be done this fall to keep it winter proof! Be sure to explore our blog for other informative reads, and to explore our residential home inspection services to see how we can help!