With Labor Day weekend upon us, the summer season is winding down and fall is right around the corner. Although this is good news for pumpkin spice and apple cider lovers alike, some preparation is in order for homeowners to ensure their homes are equipped to handle the changes in weather.

Modernize Home Services, a leader in the home improvement industry, suggests these maintenance tips to help homeowners best prepare their homes for fall:

  1. Check the HVAC System – Call a professional to inspect the home’s heating system to ensure it’s functioning properly. Faulty HVAC systems can result in uncomfortably cold homes as the weather changes and higher energy bills. Make sure all air ducts are well-sealed and insulated. Leaks can reduce a home’s energy efficiency by about 20 percent.
  2. Roof and Gutter Maintenance – Check for loose shingles on the roof and replace any missing shingles before inclement weather arrives. If the home is located in a climate prone to ice and snow, adding extra insulation in the attic can help prevent freezing and ice dams on the roof. Clean out the gutters and consider investing in leaf guards before any storms hit to keep water away from the foundation.
  3. Sprinkler System Winterization – Winterizing a sprinkler system can reduce the chance of broken pipes and make it easier to turn back on in the spring. First, turn off the main water valve. Then set the automatic controller to rain mode or simply disconnect it. Be sure to drain the water from outside and close the shutoff valve.
  4. Fireplace & Chimney Inspection – Annual fireplace inspections are essential ahead of use, as build-ups and blockages are dangerous and can lead to accidental fires. It is best to hire a professional prior to using a fireplace to check and remove any flammable residue from burning wood.
  5. Walkway and Driveway Repairs – Fix any cracks in the driveway as well as uneven walkways and loose railings. These can cause hazardous walking conditions once winter ice storms hit.

Gregg Hicks, the Vice President of Modernize Home Services recommends “a little proactive maintenance” to get ahead of the changes fall brings. “These seasonal precautions can help keep your home operating efficiently, prevent damage, and safeguard your family.”