If you live in Colorado, there is one thing you know about fall. Now you see it, a week later you don’t. November is a transitional month that can be cold, but not freezing. Then, all at once everyone is scrambling to prepare for the below freezing temperatures and accumulating snow. Before the change sneaks up on you, your friends at COListings wanted to share a November maintenance checklist to help you get ready for the rough winter ahead.
Make it safe
You know it all to well. The whole household is woken up from a dead sleep by a chirping smoke or carbon monoxide detector coming from an unknown location. You don’t have any replacement batteries and you turn the house upside down looking for any electronic that might have one with a little juice to get you through the night. If you change your batteries every November, you not only eliminate the unwelcomed alarm, but dead batteries cause 24% of smoke alarm failures, which puts your family at risk. Make a habit of testing alarms each spring and fall to make sure your home and family are safe.
Keep the heat
When you need heat in Colorado, you really need it. Make sure to replace your air filter if you haven't in the past three months and clean out heating returns. This will ensure you are warm while you save money throughout the cold months. You can also call in a professional to inspect and tune up your HVAC system. It might be worth the money so you are not suddenly without heat and have to pay for an emergency repair.
Bundle it up
In order to save money and keep your home warm, make sure to find and seal up areas that let the cold air in and the warm air out. The most common are along baseboards, windows and doors, outlets and lighting fixtures. You can easily caulk these areas and install weather-stripping on your own. Don’t forget about winterizing your sprinkler systems. If you get the system blown out in November, you won’t be frantically calling around to get it done before an unexpected polar vortex. Make sure to unhook any hoses from external faucets and wrap the main sprinkler valve to prevent cracking.
It does seem never ending. Just as you finish raking your lawn, you turn around and your grass is covered with more leaves. Nevertheless, you do want to make sure you clean up around the outside of your home to make sure your lawn is in the best shape possible before it has to make it through several long cold months. Piles of leaves left behind can cause mold on your lawn under several inches of snow. You can mulch leaves since smaller pieces can decompose and provide extra nutrients for the winter. In addition to raking, don’t forget about bringing in the lawn furniture and/or cushions. It is hard to believe, but in just a few weeks they will be covered with ice and snow.
Little unwelcome guests will soon be turning to your garage, attic or basement to warm up during the cold months. Make sure to replace damaged roof tiles and vents before it snows. Don’t forget to seal up holes around pipes and cables. If you have had pest problems in the past, it may be worth the cost to have a professional pest service check for possible entry points in your home to ensure pests stay out of the pantry.