Last Minute Fall Cleanup Tips

Home Insurance Basics, Insurance Advice

Winter weather is fast approaching. Use this fall cleanup checklist to make sure your home is ready for the winter season.

Landscaping Cleanup Tips

Rake all the leaves from your lawn and driveway. Dry leaves left on your driveway are a spark hazard for your vehicle and may cause a fire. Leaves left on your lawn may cause grass suffocation over the winter months. You can make the leaves work for you by composting them or placing them in your landscape beds to protect your trees and perennials from frost.

Check your trees for broken or compromised branches. Have these branches trimmed now to avoid future property damage during winter storms. It is easier to have a tree management company come out now than in the middle of a snow storm when there customer base is overwhelming. This is also an easy step to avoid potential property insurance claims from broken tree limbs.

Drain all your water sprinklers, outdoor water reservoirs, and garden hoses. Make sure all your exterior faucets are tightly closed.

Clean your garden tools and store them for next season use. Drain all fuel from your lawnmower and other fuel operated tools.

Check your snow removal tools for good operating condition. Being prepared is half the battle against the snow!

Exterior Cleanup Tips

Clean your rain gutters of debris. Rain gutters packed with leaves and branches can lead to ice jams in the winter months.

Check your foundation for any cracks. You will want to seal those cracks to prevent water and ice from further expanding the crack. Waterproof and weatherproof your walkways. Snow and ice can worsen existing cracks. Also better to prevent cracks than deal with them in the spring time.

Check the perimeter of your doors and windows for intact caulking. If the integrity of the caulking is questionable or deteriorated, then replace the caulking ASAP. These gaps in the caulking literally let money fly out th
e window.

Do a visual check of your roof for loose or missing shingles. Have these shingles repaired to maintain the integrity of the roof. Also check your roof water run off for signs of shingle sand debris. If you are noticing the topcoat shingle pebbles in the water, then your roof is compromised and can not fully protect your home from the elements.

Make sure driveway and all paths are in good condition. You want to be sure that no parts break apart when you are doing snow removal over them.

Interior Cleanup Tips

Have your furnace and chimney cleaned before their use this winter.  Dirty flumes are a leading cause of chimney fires during the winter. Make sure to change your air filter routinely. One easy tip to monitor your air filter replacement is to write the date of the air filter placement on the filter frame. This way you can verify the duration of its use.

Check your window panes for any cracks or breaks in the glass. Replace the glass panes before the temperatures get too low.

Place new batteries in your fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  If you do not have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, then go purchase them. Carbon monoxide detectors are especially necessary in the winter months. During this time our houses are sealed tight against the inclement weather, air exchange between the inside and outside is severely limited, and our heating systems are working continuously.

Taking these simple steps in the fall can help prevent home repairs and insurance claims during the winter months.

Disclaimer: This Fall Cleanup list is not an all inclusive list of all necessary repairs and house preparations that need to be done to prevent winter weather damage to your home.

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