Summer is gone and the crisp fall air indicates that cold weather will be arriving soon. Before winter sets in and that first big snowstorm hits, prepare your home for winter.

Winterize and Store Your Lawn Mower

You won’t be using your lawn mower during winter, so pack it away. Wash your mower and drain the fuel for long-term storage. When a mower sits with gas in the tank for months, the gas can cause damage to vital engine parts. You can drain the gas or pick up a bottle of fuel stabilizer that will keep the gas stable over the winter. Add the stabilizer to your gas can and top off your mower tank with this mixture before you store it for the season. Make sure the stabilized fuel reaches your carburetor by running the mower for five minutes before storing it.

Prepare Your Home for Winter: Disconnect Garden Hoses

Remove all garden hoses from outdoor faucets. If you leave the hoses attached through winter, the water left inside them will freeze and expand, possibly cracking your pipes and faucets. Disconnect and store garden hoses early in the fall so that a sudden freeze doesn’t damage your pipes. Then, turn off the water supply valves inside your house that lead to the faucets outside.

Seal Air Leaks

Seal any visible cracks between siding and trim, where wires and pipes enter the house, and around door and window frames. It’s one of the cheapest (and most important) things to do to heat your home efficiently. You’ll be sealing air leaks that allow heat to escape and cold air to enter. Pick a relatively nice day to do this because caulk works best above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take Care of Your Gutters

If your gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, water cannot flow freely. This can lead to damaging ice dams in the winter when the run-off from the roof freezes in the gutters. These ice dams can damage guttering and require expensive repairs.

After the leaves have fallen, clean the gutters to remove all twigs, leaves, moss, and other debris. Make sure the gutters aren’t sagging or trapping any water. Tighten the gutter downspout brackets. Replace worn or damaged parts.

Check that your downspouts extend five feet or more away from the foundation of your home. If they are any closer, you risk foundation problems from water damage. If they’re not at least five feet away, you can buy downspout extensions for $10-20 each.

It’s Time to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Winter is going to be here soon. Take this weekend to get outside and prepare your home. Then you won’t have to worry when the snow starts to fall.

Homeworx Services, Inc. offers home inspection services to Northern Virginia. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to schedule an appointment.