There is no doubt about it….winter is on its way. Take the time to protect your investment. Fall is a really good time to start thinking about your home maintenance as well as getting it ready for the colder weather.

Here are a few items that you can do to get ready for the winter and help keep your home happy.

Heating system maintenance

If you are looking for a warm and problem free winter it is a really good idea to have your furnace maintained before you turn it on. Regular furnace maintenance is a great way to ensure that your furnace is in optimal shape to get you through the cold months. It can also alert you to any potential issues that, if left, can turn into something bigger and more problematic!

Paint, caulk and seal exterior wood

Take the time to go around your home and make sure that none of the caulk is cracking and your paint is not chipping and flaking away. If it is, scrape away the bad paint or caulk and apply fresh.

This is a job many people can do themselves if they stay on top of it. Once the wood is rotted and requires replacement, then you are probably going to need to hire a carpenter to tackle the job.

Seal your masonry and hard surfaces

If you have a concrete patio, driveways or walkways, make sure they’re protected. Take the time to inspect your concrete and fill in any cracks before you apply sealer so that water cannot get in and freeze over the winter. This should ensure your expensive concrete work lasts a very long time. If you have an asphalt driveway, now is the time to think about resealing that as well. It’s not very expensive to have a company come and give it a quick spray of sealer, or you can simply buy a bucket of sealer and roll it on yourself. If your driveway has developed cracks, then patch those before sealing.

Clean your eavestroughs

Once the leaves are pretty much off the trees, it’s time to clean those gutters. When your gutters back up, they overflow, and when they overflow, that water runs down your home, speeding up the deterioration of your exterior. It can also lead to deterioration of your foundation, water infiltration in the basement and to settling under your concrete porches and walks, which creates all kinds of problems.

Make sure your attic isn’t too inviting

When it gets cold out your attic is the perfect winter home for squirrels and birds. Wildlife can cause a lot of damage. Make sure your trees are trimmed well away from the house, and make sure your gable vents are intact. Do a walk around your home and look up at your soffit and fascia. Make sure there are no holes that will allow birds to get in.

Do a quick energy audit

Fall is a good time to check your door seals. Make sure you’re not seeing daylight around your exterior doors and take a can of spray foam insulation and fill in around those drafty outlets and light switches.