Now is the perfect time to think about preparing the outside of your home for winter. Why? Because the weather is cooling off but it has not become too cold to do routine maintenance outside. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Have your chimney inspected

If you have a fireplace and use your chimney, it is important to have it inspected and, if necessary, cleaned every year. Be sure to only use a professional that is licensed, trained and bonded.

2. Inspect your gutters

Chances are that this winter is going to bring with it an onslaught of snow and ice like it typically does. You want your gutters to be in perfect working order so they can funnel water away from your home. Look for sagging gutters, holes and cracks. If you see any signs of wear and tear, call a professional to have them replace your gutters now -- before the weather gets worse.

3. Caulk holes and cracks

Holes and cracks on the exterior of your home -- such as those around your windows and doors, or small ones in your foundation -- need to be patched with a caulking that is rated for the extremities of the winter weather. Doing so can not only keep insects out but it can also reduce your utility bills and help you feel more comfortable all winter long.

4. Inspect your roof

Ice dams can compromise the integrity of your roof but you might not even realize you have them until your roof starts leaking. When inspecting your roof, look for missing shingles or ones that are loose. Pay attention to the overall condition of the roofing materials. If you have missing or loose shingles, contact a qualified roofing company to repair your roof.

5. Mulch your garden

Mulch provides ground cover and protection for the roots of your plants. When the temperatures drop, bring your container plants indoors and cover outdoor foliage that could be affected by the dip in temperatures.

Taking a few minutes now to prepare the outside of your home can save you time and money later. If you need roofing or gutter services, Keyprime Roofing and Remodeling is a locally owned company with the experience and professionalism to handle the jobs.