It’s official – fall is here! Not only does that mean it’s time for pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters, but it’s also time for fall home maintenance. With the weather changing from hot to cool, it’s time to prep your home for the fall and winter seasons. Taking care of routine maintenance helps ensure you don’t face more serious problems down the line. Here’s the rundown of those tasks you should complete in the coming weeks.
Clean the gutters
Nobody likes to clean the gutters. But we’re willing to bet you’d like a damaged roof and a leaky basement even less. Now is the time to get up on a ladder and clean out those gutters. Depending on how many trees you have in your yard, this may be a task you need to complete a couple of times over the fall season.
Attend to the yard
In addition to cleaning the gutters, it’s also time to attend to the yard. Prune trees and shrubs and clean up fallen leaves. If possible, compost your leaves for use in garden beds. It’s also time to aerate, fertilize and reseed your lawn so that it’s lush and green in the spring.
Drain garden hoses and sprinklers
If you don’t drain garden hoses, water can become trapped inside. If you live in an area where you can expect below freezing temperatures, this could cause that trapped water to freeze and expand. Come spring, you’ll need to buy new hoses. Stretch them out on a slope until they’re dry and then store them over the winter.
For those with underground sprinkler systems, make sure to get those lines blown out. The first freeze will be upon us shortly and it only takes the one to damage your system and cause a headache in the spring.
Store outdoor furniture
Before the chill really sets in, store or cover your outdoor furniture. This will ensure that you can use them for many more springs and summers to come.
Take a walk around your home and use exterior caulk to seal any cracks around windows and doorframes, between siding and trim, and where wires or pipes enter your home. Not only does this prevent moisture from getting into your walls, but it also saves energy.
Check the fireplace
If you have a fireplace, then you know how much use it gets in the cooler months. Make sure the damper works properly. Hire a professional to clean creosote buildup before you begin using your fireplace.
Check your heating system
The beginning of fall is the perfect time to change your furnace filter. You should also consider having a professional come out to check your system. It’s better to discover an issue early rather than having an expensive repair down the line.
Check your detectors
With fireplaces, furnaces, and space heaters running in your home, you need to make sure all your detectors are working properly. This includes fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the batteries and replace as necessary. If you don’t already have one, purchase a fire extinguisher to have on hand just in case.
Test cold weather equipment
Finally, if you live in an area where you can expect snow, then take the time to test your snow blower. It’s much easier to have it repaired now than when there are six inches of snow on the ground and you can’t get out of your driveway.
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