Preparing Your Home for Seasonal Weather Changes

In most areas of the U.S. people experience seasonal weather changes. Because seasonal weather changes can catch us off-guard, there are things to do ahead of time that will help such as cleaning out the gutters. Sure, it’s a drab and boring job but it is a job that if not done, can cause major problems such as water leaking into your home or your gutters collapsing or attracting pests like rodents. To safely clean the gutters, especially after leaves have started to fall or after a long hard winter, carefully go up to the gutters and clean them out.

When the temperatures are warm and leaves have fallen, use a leaf blower or carefully remove debris with your hands; hands that are protected with gloves. Be sure to also check the roof. To avoid accidents, it’s better to hire a roofing maintenance specialist or call a roofing contractor Phoenix available in your area. Survey the entire area; especially look to see if any shingles are loose or missing. Another step to take in the fall is to re-caulk windows and cover the AC unit. This is especially important as fall approaches. Check your windows inside and out for any missing trim or caulk. Be sure to also cover up your AC unit. This will protect it from heavy snow and unwanted debris.

As fall approaches, it is also important to clean and store away any outdoor furniture. Heavyweight aluminum and teak and cherry furniture can stay outside; however, plastic and wicker furniture should be brought inside to prevent unnecessary aging of the furniture. All cushions and other fabrics should be washed and stored away dry in order to prevent mold and to ensure that the fabric remains in optimal shape. In addition, when the weather becomes cooler, it is important to schedule your fireplace, furnace or wood stove for an annual cleanup and to also change the filters. When you schedule an annual repair, you are not only ensuring that this area of your home is clean and safe, you are also preventing the buildup of monoxide, prolonging the life of your furnace and saving money on possible costly repairs.

Preparing for seasonal weather changes also means that windows need to be examined. Drafty windows, if not properly treated, can cause heating costs to soar. To ensure that your windows are properly treated, seal your windows, invest in window shades, heavy curtains or install window film. In years past, many have purchased and continue to purchase window kits. They are affordable and keep rooms more efficiently insulated. They can be found at most home improvement stores.

Most importantly, to be ready for winter, it is important to buy winter essentials early. Winter essentials are shovels, salt, ice melt, brooms and ice scrapers. Some keep these essentials in their garage or inside a corner in the hallway of their home. Wherever you choose to place them, always return them to the same spot so that you will have them again when you need them. Of course, there are things inside that need seasonal changes such as putting away summer and fall jackets and bringing out the blanket, boots, gloves, and coats. Gloves and coats that need to be dry cleaned should be done no later than September.

Most importantly, as fall and winter approach, it is always a good idea to stock up and store away canned and non-perishable goods. Soups, cereal, canned goods and items like cookies, chips, and bottled water are always good to have on hand; especially if large amounts of snow and ice appear and you are unable to get out and buy groceries. Bad weather can occur at any time and when that happens you want to ensure that you have enough food and water that will last, at least for a couple of weeks until the bad weather has ended. Before snow and ice occur, change out your car tires and make sure you have enough wiper fluid. It is also wise to ensure that your car always has enough gas.This is particularly important during the winter months.

If you have a pool, cover it. The cover will keep it clean for the next summer season. In the winter, there are other issues to be concerned about, especially if you live in an older or poorly insulated home. Before the cold weather returns, it is important to make sure that any pipes that can be seen inside your home are covered using heat tape or insulation. On cold nights, it is also helpful to let the faucet drip a little to keep them from freezing up. In addition, drain the pipes of any excess water before things cool down.

When it comes to spring, there are some steps to take for seasonal changes such as the exterior of your home. Because harsh winter weather can age your home, go outside and check out the caulking around your windows and doors. Open the windows and doors and examine the weather stripping. Replace the caulking if needed. Landscaping is another area to examine. Even though it will be months before any landscaping projects can be done, get ready for spring work by preparing your landscaping tools such as replacing old or cracked garden hoses, raking away leaves and debris from sidewalks and surrounding areas, and begin planning your spring landscaping ideas and lawn care maintenance ideas. Areas that have become dirty with ice and snow, pressure wash them; areas such as vinyl siding, brick walls, and vertical surfaces.

In the fall and spring, look carefully at your home’s HVAC heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Air filters may need to be cleaned or replaced and if you’re running low on air filters, buy a few more. Before summer begins, check your air conditioner to see if it is in good working order. If it is making unusual noises or the air quality is poor, call your HVAC company professionals and have the check it out. Another project that should be done in early fall and early spring is cleaning your windows, inside and out. Windows that are cleaned after a harsh winter or a long, hot summer, need cleaning. In addition, clean windows look wonderful and give your home an overall great appearance.

Other inside cleaning projects for fall and spring are cleaning ceiling fans and cleaning fireplaces. Most importantly, test your smoke fire alarm, home alarm, fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that the are working as they should. In addition, don’t forget your bathroom and kitchen. These are two areas that are used a great deal every day. In the kitchen, clean your kitchen cabinets inside and out and lay down protective covering for your dishes, glasses and eating utensils. Your oven and stove top should also be cleaned. As part of overall cleaning, clean your bathroom’s sink, shower, and tub. Finish by spraying a disinfectant.