Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before shorter days (and in many areas, ice and snow) make outdoor work too difficult. And if you do live in an area with cold winters, take some time this fall to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care.
Here are some home maintenance ideas that will keep your home running in peak condition all winter long.
Stock up on winter supplies.
If you live in a region with cold, snowy winters, fall is the time to prepare.
-Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed
-Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt, if needed
-Restock emergency kits for car and home
-If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel
Deep-clean the kitchen.
Take a day to tackle some of the more labor-intensive cleaning tasks, and keep your kitchen working efficiently and looking great:
-Degrease the range hood and filter
-Clean the oven
-Vacuum the refrigerator coils
-Scrub tile grout
-Clean light fixtures
-Wash the walls and backsplash
-Wash the garbage can and recycling bins
-Clean small appliances
Gutters and Downspouts
Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters. Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
With this being said ensure that water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors. Don’t forget to inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.
Examine your wood stove or fireplace insert’s door gasket for a tight seal. Also clean and inspect the glass door for cracks and have the chimney cleaned by a licensed chimney sweep. Replace the filter in your furnace.
Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.
To prevent pipes freezing and bursting, ensure that the pipes are well insulated. Know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze.
Drain Your Sprinkler System
Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.
-Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.
-Shut off the automatic controller.
-Open drain valves to remove water from the system.
-Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.
If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air.
Chimney and Fireplace
Call a professional in to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.
Using the lawnmower, shred up dead leaves as soon as they fall on the grass. If the layer of dead leaves is too thick, pick them up and use them for compost.
Removing spent annual flowers and vegetables will allow you to prepare the soil for spring. Prune dead wood and water shoots from the property’s trees. Remove dangerous tree branches that could break off and damage property if the wind should be strong or if there should be an ice storm.
Prepare exterior water faucets and spigots
Remove all outdoor garden hoses, drain and store.
Turn off all exterior spigots so that water left in the pipes does not freeze and break the pipes. This is the time to consider replacing spigots with freeze-proof faucets if desired.
Bring your outdoor furniture in.
Yes, your furniture is outdoor furniture. It cost you money and time to set that outdoor space up, so if you want to get another summer season out of it you should store it in a garage or shed. If you don’t have anywhere to store the items, you should cover it in a waterproof furniture cover.
Fix any cracks in your driveway.
When water gets into cracks it freezes, expands, and can make the crack even bigger. Enough small cracks can turn into big cracks, and eventually the concrete can crumble. Plus, uh, you’d probably prefer a driveway without a giant pothole. So, using concrete crack sealer, fill it up and be done with it.
Tackling a few fall home maintenance tasks now can help ward off issues later in the season, so you can enjoy everything you love about autumn worry-free.
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