7 STEPS TO PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR FALL
As the seasons change, so do our activities and home needs. Even though summer is not quite over yet, it’s a good time to do some seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. The weather can change quickly, especially if you live in a colder climate and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. A bit of attention now will save costly repairs and aggravation later.
1. Fertilize Your Lawn
According to experts, fertilizing your lawn in autumn protects it over the winter and helps it green up faster come springtime. Fall feeding is especially important in areas with dry summers.
Dosing your lawn with fertilizer in autumn will trigger the renewed growth of both blades and roots, so your grass will be thick and healthy again before winter’s colder temperatures set in.
2. Get Your HVAC Serviced
Your AC has been faithfully chugging along all summer. Now it’s time to give it a rest. Before you tuck it away for the winter, be sure to clean the coils. You can find YouTube videos showing how to do this safely.
If you’re done using the AC for the year, cover the outdoor unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system. Then move indoors and switch your thermostat from cooling to heating. Change the filter, too. You should also make sure all indoor vents are uncovered, and maybe clean your own air ducts while you’re at it.
3. Clean The Gutters
Clogged gutters will channel water down the side of your home where it eventually damages the foundation and can flood your basement. So get a ladder and pull debris out of the gutters by hand. If you have a one-story house, you can use this leaf-blower attachment to blast the stuff. Still too much work? Hire a gutter cleaning company — they’re worth it.
4. Drain And Store Your Lawn Equipment
Over time, unused fuel goes through chemical changes that create deposits and destroy your lawn equipment. So drain the tanks of your lawn mower, leaf blower, and weed eater before storing them. Fall is also an excellent time to get your lawn mower blades sharpened so they’ll be ready for next Spring.
5. Turn Off And Drain Outdoor Faucets And Sprinklers
Outdoor hoses and pipes will burst if they’re full of water when the temperatures plunge below freezing. While replacing a garden hose isn’t that difficult, it’s incredibly expensive to dig up your lawn’s sprinkler system to deal with burst pipes. So, disconnect your outdoor hoses and turn off the outdoor water supply. Open outdoor faucets and run your sprinkler system to drain any remaining water. Then take these steps to prevent frozen pipes.
6. Inspect And Clean Your Chimney
When I think of chimney cleaning, I always picture Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins singing “Chim-chim-e-ny, chim-chim-e-ney, chim, chim, cheroo.” It’s a charming song!
Nothing is charming about filling your home with soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide because your chimney isn’t working correctly. Even gas fireplaces need an inspection to ensure the pipe is free of cracks that can allow smoke to enter your home. This job is best left to pros. The cost runs around $100-200.
7. Get Your Ice Melt And Snow Blower Ready
By the time winter arrives, it’s often too late to find snow gear. Stock up on such things in autumn when they’re plentiful and lower-priced. Even if you think you’ve got enough left from last year, or that your snow blower or shovel are in good shape, take a few moments to check. You don’t want to get caught out in the cold finding out you’re wrong.
As with most home maintenance tasks, preparing your home for fall isn’t tricky, just time-consuming. Putting it off causes problems that can wind up costing you an enormous amount of money, though, so set aside time on the next couple of weekends to get these jobs done.