It's officially fall in The Springs. The leaves are changing, days are getting shorter, and residents are starting to trade in their shorts and T-shirts for pants, boots, and sweaters. Colorado Springs has had some pretty great weather so far, with only a mild sprinkle of snow on Pikes Peak in recent weeks, but that could all change in the coming weeks as we transition into October. Winter is coming, and here's how to get your home in great shape before it arrives.
Your Home's Pre-Winter Checklist
Inside Your Home
1. Check Your Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Before you turn on the furnace for the first time and start to heat up your home again, it's a good time to ensure that all of the safety equipment in your home is ready to go.
2. Check Windows & Doors for Caulking & Weatherstripping. Colorado is known for its unpredictable weather. One minute it's dry, the next it's raining, and one day it's warm, the next it's snowing. All of this temperature change can really have an impact on even the smallest parts of your home, like the weatherstripping and caulking around doors and windows. Before the weather starts to turn, spend some time checking out all of the seals around your windows and reapply caulking as necessary.
Not only will this keep the warm air in and the cold air out, it also prevents unwanted pests from making their way in to your cozy abode.
3. Check The Chimney. Not every home in Colorado Springs has a chimney, but those that do should absolutely check it every year. How often should you clean your chimney? That largely depends on how much its used. If you check it at least once every year, you can determine if its time to scrub away the buildup. Gunked up chimneys are one of the leading causes of house fires, but it's fairly easy to avoid with proper care and annual maintenance.
4. Service Your Heating & Ventilation. How often should you service your HVAC components? The industry recommends an annual service make sure everything is running efficiently and effectively. At the very minimum, you should check the air filters and replace if necessary. You're probably not going to need your air conditioner when the mercury drops a little further, so be ready to protect it with an insulated cover to protect it from the elements.
5. Prevent Ice Dams and Icicles From Forming. Ice dams form when a pocket of warm air rises to the highest point in the attic, causing snow on the roof to melt. That melting snow rolls down the roof to the eaves, where it re-freezes. Over time, ice forms icicles over the gutters and builds up beneath the shingles. Eventually, the ice penetrates the sheathing, causing water damage in the attic. Ice dams can lead to structural damage, wood rot and even pest infestation. You can prevent ice dams from forming by improving ventilation in the attic. You can also prevent ice dams by installing better insulation, to prevent the warm air from penetrating the attic. Work with a contractor to ensure that this is done properly.
Outside Your Home
5. Winterize Irrigation Systems. The weather in The Springs usually doesn't reach extreme lows, but it's still important to protect your pipes and sprinkler systems, just in case. Turn off exterior water pipes, drain your underground sprinkling system, and wrap exterior pipes with foam insulation, which you can get at any hardware store.
To help save on home heating costs, you can even wrap pipes inside the home that transport hot water, especially in cooler areas like the basement or attic.
6. Inspect The Roof. Fall is a great time to take a look at the roof before it's needed most. If you're going to do it yourself, use extreme caution and take the necessary safety precautions. A preferred roofing company would be more than happy to swing by your house to safely inspect what's going on up there, and they would know what to look for in terms of damage or decay. If you'd like a recommendation of our preferred roofing vendors, send us a message and we'd be happy to let you know!
7. Trim Branches. Check around your home to see if there are any branches or debris that could break loose and damage your home in a storm.
8. Prepare For Pests. As the temperature drops, people spend more time inside the comforts of their home and pests are looking to do the same. Now is the time when spiders, rodents, and other critters begin to seek shelter, and it's often in places where they're not so welcome. It's best to be proactive about pest control; check your weatherstripping, plug any holes they might be able to sneak into, and keep your doors and windows closed at all times.
Plan for Autumn Home Maintenance Early
Just as we prepare to hang up our swimsuits in exchange for some comfy fall scarves and sweaters, it's imperative that home owners check these important items to best maintain the value of their home. The first annual frost in Colorado Springs typically occurs in the first week of October, so there's still some time left to address these issues before that time comes!
For more information about basic home maintenance and sustaining the value of your Colorado Springs home, check out our other maintenance blog posts. For all of your Colorado Springs real estate needs, the MilitaryHomeSearch.com team is here to help you with personalized service and industry experience.
Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now.