Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

The perfect time to prep your home for winter is when fall weather is at its finest. Cooler temperatures and mountain snow will be here any day, so don’t wait to prepare. Here are steps to take to get ready for falling leaves and freezing temperatures, as recommended by House Beautiful and Better Homes and Gardens.

Prepare gutters
Clean and well-functioning gutters are a must for winter. Now is the time to clear gutters of leaves and debris and replace damaged sections.

Block drafts
Windows are a major source of heat loss in the home. One simple solution is to eliminate drafts with weather stripping. To check for drafts, close the door or window on a strip of paper, and then slide the paper. If it slides easily, it’s time to replace your weather stripping.

Disconnect outdoor faucets and sprinklers
This is a simple step to take sooner rather than later. A few easy steps will help avoid frozen and bursting pipes in your home. Drain and disconnect your hoses from outdoor faucets before the first freeze. For sprinkler systems, it’s best to find a professional.

Protect outdoor furniture
Outdoor furniture lasts longer and looks better if it is protected from winter snow and freezing temperatures. Either store the furniture inside for the winter or cover it with a waterproof furniture cover.

Fix driveway and sidewalk cracks
When water freezes in small cracks, the small cracks become big cracks. It’s easy to prevent by filling those small cracks with concrete crack sealer. Your drive and walkways will look much better over the years – and will be safer – if you take this preventive step.

Prep your lawn
Prevent the stress and damage that cold temperatures can cause. When days grow are shorter, turf grass shifts food reserves from leaves to roots. Your grass is preparing for winter, and it needs fertilizer. Fertilizing grass in the fall feeds the roots and paves the way for a healthy green lawn when spring comes.

Check your snow blower
Don’t wait: get your snow blower out of the garage now. Check the oil, tires and shear pins and crank it up now, before the snow flies. That way, you’ll be ready for that first snowy morning.

Maintain your furnace
Before a chill sets in, make sure your furnace or heating system is cleaned and inspected so it’s running efficiently.

Clean your carpets
It’s a great time to clean your carpets since you can leave your windows open to speed up the drying process.

Repair your fireplace
To safely enjoy the warmth of your hearth as temperatures drop, have a chimney sweep or fireplace professional inspect your wood or gas fireplace to ensure your chimneys are clear and fireplace vents are not blocked in addition to addressing other possible risks or damage.

For more helpful tips, read these articles:
• housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/cleaning-tips/a22652916/fall-home-maintenance-checklist
• bhg.com/home-improvement/advice/maintenance-repair/fall-home-projects.

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall
of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in residential and commercial real estate. For questions, e-mail tomkalinski33@gmail.com, call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.