10 Projects to Complete Before Thanksgiving
Exterior Paint — Fall offers plenty of days that are warm enough to work with exterior paint, and a touch-up can help prolong the life of your siding and trim. A fresh coat of paint or sealer on any surface that will be potentially covered with snow, such as wood floors or stairs, also is a wise idea. Roof Repair — The cold of winter can aggravate even a small roof leak. Any leaks in a home's roof should be fixed in advance of the first snowfall.
Power Washing — Having your home's exterior and windows power washed won't just make your home look sharp, it also will prevent the growth of mold and mildew that feed on grime.
Seal Gaps & Add Insulation — Consider a home energy audit that includes a review of your home's caulking and weather stripping. Energy auditors also will likely look inside your attic. If the insulation is at or below the level of the joists, you may be able to keep your home warmer by adding more. A depth of 10 to 14 inches is generally considered optimal.
Tune Up Furnace — Maintenance from a trained professional can keep your furnace running effectively and efficiently and prevent potentially catastrophic damage to your home from burst or frozen pipes.
Clean, Repair, and Protect Gutters — Inspect and clean your roof's drainage system. Better still; protect your gutters with mesh guards to keep leaves and other debris from causing blockages in the first place.
Install a Programmable Thermostat — Programmable thermostats save money without sacrificing comfort by using less energy on heating and cooling while you're away from home, asleep, or at any other specific times you select.
Repair Driveways and Walks — Small cracks and gaps in a driveway or walkway can quickly expand during winter's freezing temperatures.
Winterize Faucets and Sprinklers — Most exterior plumbing in areas with temperatures below freezing must be winterized to prevent freezing and bursting. Winterizing more complex plumbing, such as sprinkler systems or water features, is best left to a professional.
Fireplace Repair — Proper inspection of a fireplace is vital to ensuring its safe operation, even if it is rarely used. An experienced chimney sweep will check wood fireplaces for flammable buildup (known as creosote) and chimney blockages like bird nests.