The leaves have changed and the weather is cooler, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to hang up your tool belt. Fall is an excellent time to do those home improvement projects on your honey-do list! Projects that might have been on the back burner during those warm summer months might be more of a priority as the cooler weather starts to set in. There is still time! November is a great month to get your home more energy efficient, resilient against winter air, and running smoothly all year long. Image via my-home-improvement.com
Replace or Repair Windows
Window repair or replacement is one of the most important home improvement projects you can do in the fall because your windows are your home’s first line of defense against cold air leaks. Here are some simple things that you can do to make sure your windows are operating correctly to keep your home energy efficient and warm this winter:
- Look for condensation between your double paned windows. If you notice condensation, the insulating gas between panes has escaped through some kind of leak. This means your windows will not work properly. There is no way to repair this; you need to replace the window.
- Check the weather stripping on the sides and bottom of your window sash to make sure that you have an added seal to keep warm air in and cold air out. If the weather stripping is loose or coming off, then you’ll need to replace it. It’s a quick and easy repair that makes a huge difference.
- If any moving parts of your windows aren’t working, especially the lock, call a handyman or repair it yourself if you’re able. Locks actually increase the efficiency of your window because it helps to create a tighter seal.
Clean, Repair or Replace Gutters
Clean out those gutters before they clean out your wallet! All those trapped leaves in your gutter can cause some pretty significant problems. Gunky, leafy gutters make perfect nests for little critters, and increase the need for roof repairs or replacements. Make sure to check downspouts, too. If you had hadLeafGuard maintenance free gutters, this home improvement project would be off of your to-do list!
Seal Gaps and Add Insulation
Take a walk around your home. If you notice any holes or gaps associated with door or window frames, silcocks, or any opening to your home, patch it with some caulk. That will definitely help with air leaks. Along those same lines, check out your insulation. If you have cellulose insulation, it is recommended that you have at least 8-16 inches of it to have it work properly. You should also check that any bat insulation hasn’t fallen off knee walls in attics. Insulation work can be done either by you, if you’re handy, or you can call a professional.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats reduce your energy cost. If you have an older thermostat that you need to manually change, consider upgrading to a programmable one. Most programmable thermostats can be installed by you in about an hour. They also come with handy preset temperature suggestions for different times of the day. If you have a standard 9-5 gig, you probably wouldn’t have to mess with the preset temperatures at all.
Check Shingles on Roof
Fall is a really great time to check your roof; although, you should probably check it more than just once annually. Minimally, you should check three things:
- The Flashings: these are the metal pieces that cover roofing interruptions such as around a chimney. Check to make sure that they are secured and adhered properly to the roof.
- The Asphalt: with most roofs, asphalt is used. When it becomes aged it becomes brittle and needs replacing. If you notice lots of little granules in your gutters or loose on your roof, this is a sign that you need to repair/replace your roof.
Roofing Materials–wood shake or shingles: If you notice warped shingles or rotten wood shake, this needs to be taken care of right away. Your roof is one of the most important components of your house, and maintenance from time to time will really save you money in the long run.
Don’t be afraid of the projects that you missed in the summer. November is just as good as any month to get to completing these last minute projects.