The busyness of summer has died down, kids are back in school and the mornings in Meridian are finally starting to be cool. If you are like me, this may get you in the mood to do a few household projects. Winter is just around the corner and while winters in Mississippi aren’t known as harsh winters, they can be full of cold weather, ice and rain. Here is a checklist to help steer you in the right direction this fall so you can take advantage of this beautiful weather and make sure your home is well-maintained and ready for winter.
Inspect your roof
If you are able, carefully walk on your roof and check the status of your shingles. You want to look for broken, damaged or missing shingles, vent pipes, flashing, seals, soft or low spots and places that may be leaking. If you see any of these things, you may need to call a roof professional to help you decide what needs to be done. Also, if you have a chimney, shine a flashlight down into it to make sure there are no bird nests, leaves or other debris. These can cause fires when you are ready to light a fire this winter. Make sure your chimney is capped with screening to keep squirrels and birds from making a home there. If you are not able to walk on your roof, or do not think you can do so safely, call your local roofing repair professional to give you a careful inspection. Of course, you want to make sure it is someone you trust who will give you a correct assessment. Pay close attention to the status of your roof. It is your home’s first line of defense against a storm!
While you are assessing your roof, take a look at the gutters as well. You want to make sure they are correctly attached to your house and are not damaged and hanging in any way. Also, be sure your gutters are clear and not full of leaves and debris. This will be important during a heavy rain to make sure your home and yard are not flooded.
Switch The Ceiling Fan
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan so that it will turn clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. Warm air rises and the clockwise turning of the blades will force the warm air down so you can feel it.
Check Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Everyone knows the importance of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure yours are in good condition, the battery is working and that you have the correct amount for your home. Fireplaces, cooking for family holidays, lighting the Christmas tree, Halloween and Christmas decorations and more all create new fire hazards. Make sure your smoke alarms work in proper order so you will be alerted in case of a fire.
Check storm windows
If you have storm windows, make sure they are clean and in good repair.
Keep pests out
September often brings mice and other pets inside your home. They know the cold is coming and are looking for a winter home now, and your newly insulated warm home is just the spot. Make sure any gaps that lead to your home are blocked. A vent as small as a half-inch is big enough for a mouse to slide through so make sure all your exterior vents and openings are screened or closed. Be sure to keep doors closed to keep your warm air in and the pesky rodents out!
If you have gaps outside your home that could be letting air in/out or insects in/out, caulk is a great way to close them. Look for these gaps in corners, windows, doors, areas where masonry joins siding, or places where vents and other objects protrude from walls. A caulking gun and a tube of caulk are a great and easy way to fix this. September is a great month for this project because caulk becomes difficult to apply as it gets colder.
Like was mentioned in the inspection of your roof, you want to first make sure your fireplace and chimney are clear of any debris. It is best to call a professional to clean and inspect it before winter so you do not have the risk of a fire or anything coming into your home. This fall is a great time to start preparing for your fireplace by starting your firewood stack. Whether you buy it pre-cut or cut it yourself, you want to make sure your wood is kept dry and in a place that is as clear as possible. Wood piles attract rodents, insects and snake – the last think you want coming in your house! Under the roof of a wall-less carport would be an ideal wood pile spot to keep your wood clear and dry.
The last thing you want is for your pipes to freeze. Be sure to wrap any exterior pipes with insulation to keep them from freezing this winter.
Use the nice weather this fall to prepare for the cold weather that is coming. If you have any questions about Meridian Home Insurance and how to further protect your home, give Pearson & Company Insurance a call at 601-482-6699.