Spring cleaning is something a lot of people do, but probably only a few people understand what it is to winterize your house. When autumn arrives you really should inspect your home's readiness for the upcoming winter. At this specific time of year, with the foliage dying out, inspecting the house is easier, so you can tell if any shrubs are hanging onto the house. Clean out roots and vines adhering to the siding, otherwise they may cause damage - even bricks are vulnerable.
Once you have done your last watering, bleed dry, roll up and store all the hose. The water to any external faucets should be turned off, to make sure they can drain and get dry. Get your outdoor furniture cleaned up and stored in a place dry, once you are done using it till the following year. You should shield any young trees you have with mulch, particularly in their first year of growth. All water drainage ditches should be cleared to enable them to cope with any heavy rains.
Cold weather normally turns one's thoughts to fireplaces. Chimney sweeps are in high demand wih the first cold spell, so avoid the queue and get in early. If you are going to need firewood, find a source and create a good stock early. Should you find yourself in a rural area, watch out for local residents selling firewood without advertising. Check out and verify that all the smoke alarm systems are working, irrespective of whether you light fires in winter or not. If you leave your Christmas lights in place for the whole year, check that the cords are still flexible. If you are using storm windows, they must be fitted. Weather-stripping gets drier with the warm temperatures, so they may well all need to be replaced.
Over the winter months, the windows are left closed most of the time, so make sure that the filtering system in your range hood are in good working order. Do a examination of the ground-slope all around the residence, ensuring that it falls away from the walls. In case water goes on to drain into the cellar, or the foundation, that can be bad news for your house. The first damage is wet rot, which eventually leads to dry rot, and this is definitely something to be avoided anywhere in your home. You should search for seepage frequently.
It appears to be inescapable that leakages come, and the most likely places are the roof, the gutter and down-spouts, and the inside plumbing. Set a priority to get any existing leaks you find fixed. You need to protect the air-conditioning machines to prevent drafts, while, particularly with older homes, it is worth cladding the exterior pipes. It's really a wise course of action to shampoo the carpets and rugs, since dust is more noticeable in the winter. Wind up by cleaning the glass windows.