Line of home along a street in Central Ohio during a winter sunset by Columbus Ohio's best roofing contractor, Newman Roofing Company

Photo courtesy of Essential Photos on Flickr:

As the weather starts to cool and leaves turn beautiful colors, there are good reasons to be happy. Thanksgiving is coming soon, and the heat of summer is fading.

However, as the weather begins to get colder and colder, both the inside and outside of your home may begin to suffer – how badly depends on you. Read on to learn how you can protect your home from the harsh effects of winter.

Spend Now To Save Later

Mowing the yard all summer long gets annoying, so why should you keep doing maintenance in the colder months? As Organise My House explains, there are several reasons:

  • Waiting too long to repair or maintain something can lead to much higher costs. A small crack is cheap to fix; a dangerously big one is not.
  • Along the same lines, maintenance typically takes much less time than those costly repairs.
  • Your home’s value increases as you maintain the inside and outside. In addition, your home is your biggest investment. It makes financial sense to take good care of it.
  • Although preparing for the end of summer can be annoying, it’s much worse when something goes wrong. Try waiting for a replacement furnace in January.

Start with the Roof

The winter months bring intense wintery elements such as rain, sleet, and snow, and your roof takes most of the hits. For this reason, it is important that you maintain your roof, and Redfin has the following suggestions to do so:

  • Give your shingles a good cleaning to rid them of algae, moss, and lichen growth; check for loose or missing shingles while you clean.
  • Use a wire brush to remove rust from metallic roof parts.
  • Keep gutters free of debris to prevent water from melting ice and snow from building up and finding a way into your roofing structure.
  • Ice and snow create excess weight on branches, so make sure any overhanging branches are trimmed back.

It’s no surprise that Ohio gets its fair share of snow. Although ice dams are pretty, they are a sign that your home isn’t properly insulated, which could create costly damage. The key is to winterize the inside of your home to protect the outside. Heat rises during the day, heating up your attic and roof and melting away snow and ice. However, when the temperature drops down at night, snow refreezes and forms an ice dam. Ramp up your attic insulation by sealing up areas through which warm air can escape into your attic, and install foam insulation. If ice dams form, fill a nylon sock with calcium chloride ice melt and place it directly on the ice. If you love the frosty look, opt for icicle lights instead.

Taking Care Of Outside

Now that you’re ready to get some work done, you need to head outside. This part of your home needs some help sooner because it faces the brunt of the changing temperature.

Angie’s List has a great page detailing outdoor winterizing maintenance, such as:

  • Drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage. Also, make sure any kinks or twists are undone.
  • If you have a pool or pond, get a cover for it before too many leaves start falling.
  • Cut your lawn and add a fall or winter fertilizer so it comes back in spring healthy and green.
  • Shut off the valves to any faucets or irrigation system.

You’ll also need to keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear, especially toward the end of fall. If they get clogged with leaves and other debris, water soaks into your foundation and starts to ruin it. If you aren’t comfortable being up on a ladder, or if your house has several stories, consider hiring someone to do the cleaning for you. This will also ensure the project is done correctly. Home Advisor estimates that in the Columbus, OH area, gutter and downspout cleaning costs approximately $96-$212.

Keeping Things Warm Inside

With the outside of your home ready for the colder months, it’s time to work on the inside. After all, no one in your family wants to live in a cold, drafty house this winter.

Popular Mechanics has a great list of indoor winterizing tips, including:

  • Replace the air filters in your home. If they remain dirty and clogged, they will restrict airflow and make it harder to heat your home.
  • Turn any ceiling fans into reverse. This pushes the hot air that rises back down to your level.
  • Shut off the water valve to your air conditioner.
  • Hire an HVAC professional to inspect and clean your furnace. Both are needed to extend the life of your furnace as well as make it run more efficiently.

One of the best tasks you can do is make sure your doors and windows seal properly. Use caulk on windows and weatherstripping on doors. You should also add some window insulation since Ohio can get really cold.

Get Those Tasks Done

It’s not like the colder months are going to wait until you’re ready. Start doing some end-of-summer maintenance tasks now before it gets too cold outside. Once you’ve prepared both the inside and outside of your house, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your family more comfortable.