As much as we hate to see summer end, fall is the perfect time to get your house ready for the cold winter temperatures of the Northeast.

Taking these steps now will prevent costly repairs later, help you save money on utility bills, and keep your home in excellent shape if/when you decide to sell. Here are some tips on how to winterize your home.

Seal it tight

Your first priority is to keep the warmth inside and the water and pests outside.

  • Switch out summer screens with glass replacements.
  • Close any vents in your home that may have been opened for the warm weather.
  • Examine doors and windows for gaps where warm air can escape, then caulk or apply weatherstripping to problem areas.
  • Consider installing double-paned windows to increase energy efficiency.

Protect your pipes

Freezing water can break a pipe and cause water damage to your home. Homes in the Northeast are better prepared for this possibility, with pipes generally located within insulated parts of the house. Despite this, it’s important to make sure your home is properly insulated to reduce the risk. You can add extra protection by using pipe sleeves. And as an extra precaution, if you’ll be gone for a few days, turn the water off.

Inspect your roof and gutters

Did you know that most of the water damage in a home comes from a leaky roof? Under ideal conditions, asphalt shingles are only built to last 15 to 20 years. Be sure to inspect your roof for loose shingles, even if you don’t have water coming inside yet. While you’re up there, check to see if the area around your vents and chimney are tightly sealed. Next, clear away the debris in your gutters. You may also want to install leaf guards to keep water away from the house.

Home maintenance is critical to increasing your home’s value over time. If you’re planning to sell, contact BHHS Fox & Roach for expert guidance about what you may need to do before putting up the “for sale” sign.