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Protect your home this winter by preparing in the fall

September 23, 2020

Protect your home this winter by preparing in the fall

After a long summer, you might be ready for the cooler coastal seasons. Prep your home for fall and winter using a home maintenance checklist from Hunter Quinn, Charleston’s Builder of Choice. Follow these tips and you can rest assured that as a homeowner, you’ve taken the precautions needed to protect your home from cold-weather inconveniences and expensive damages. 

Keep the cold air (and moisture) out 

A quick check around your home’s exterior can reveal cracks in draft-prone areas like windows and doors. Adding weatherstripping or sealing exterior caulk to those spots are a cost-effective way to cut down on heating costs and keep moisture out of your home. Pro-tip: caulk flows easiest when the weather is nice, so get this task done before the temperature drops. 

Care for your landscaping  

Fall is the perfect time to get your yard and landscaping ready for winter. Trees need extra attention, so look for signs of poor health like noticeable differences in leaf colors or fall patterns and dead branches. Trees that are unhealthy should be removed or pruned to prevent them from causing damage to your home (specifically the roof) during winter storms. As for lawn care, it’s important to rake fallen leaves throughout the fall to keep grass healthy enough to grow in the spring. 

Inspect your roof and gutters 

Grab your ladder (and recruit a spotter) to safely make your way to the roof for an inspection—or hire a professional if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Look out for cracked, curled, buckled or missing shingles and replace them immediately. While some stains are just cosmetic, mosses or other growths could signify decay that you can’t see. Also, check for cracks around vents and skylights. If there is more damage than spot treatment is worth, it might be time to replace your entire roof. 

While you’re up there, clear out gutters that are clogged. Once autumn hits, those pretty leaves falling from your trees end up in gutters, posing a major threat to the drainage of your home if left cluttered. Back on the ground, clear out any downspouts and check for damaged pieces to replace before winter. 

Analyze your HVAC system

Now that your home is prepped and ready to keep the cold air outside, it’s time to focus on the warm air inside. The last thing you want to wake up to on the first chilly morning is an equally chilly house—or worse, a frozen pipe. Conduct a visual inspection on your HVAC system: check for physical damage and clean the area around it. Then, change the filter. A dirty filter can cause major damage to the system and rack up your heating bills. If the damage is beyond basic homeowner knowledge, Hunter Quinn can provide you with a list of area experts we trust to work on our own HVAC systems. 

Replace batteries in detectors 

A quick peek at your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors takes only a few minutes and are a priceless way to keep your family safe and healthy. It’s suggested that homeowners replace batteries in the detectors twice a year, so avoid the infamous chirp of a low-battery warning and set a reminder to do it again in six months. 

Check out your fireplace and chimney

A favorite cold-weather pastime can often involve your wood- or gas-burning fireplace. Before you fire it up for the first time this season, grab a flashlight and peek inside the flue to make sure the damper is in proper working order and clear of debris (like bird’s nests or leaves). 

Looking for a new single-family home or townhome in Charleston before winter? Look no further. Hunter Quinn homes has an extensive list of move-in-ready homes available now. If you have some time and are wanting to design your home from the studs up, you can browse the floor plans we offer in our expertly-designed communities or HQ HomeSights options. Contact us today to get started.

"Very helpful during the process. Everyone I worked with was super nice and willing to help."

Jared, Tributary Home Owner

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