As the warm weather of summer transitions into those crisp days of fall, you may find your mind focused on another season of football, the joys of the coming holidays, and the return of kids to school. But before you yourself get caught up in the throes of autumn’s changes, remember that your home and garden both need to be readied for the upcoming changes, too! To that end, we’ve compiled for you this list of fall home maintenance tasks that will ready your home and landscape for Fall’s quixotic weather.
- Heating. Fall’s downshift in temperature means that you’ll soon be transitioning from the A/C to the heater. Inspect your furnace for any signs of wear or tear, and clean out the filter. You can also hire an HVAC professional to come out and run a tune-up on your system and identify any problems that aren’t immediately obvious. Also, have your chimney cleaned and inspected, to ensure that it is free of debris and venting correctly
- Gutters. In many areas of the country, Fall means the return of rain or snow, so ensuring that your gutters are clear is a high priority. Gutters clogged with leaves, dirt or animal nests prevent precipitation from running out, and can cause water to pool against the home, damaging your roof or the home’s siding. Clogged gutters can also cause water to spill down and pool against your home, which can cause problems for the foundation.
- Landscape. Prepare your landscape for the fall by creating a clean and tidy yard that can withstand the rigors of fall and winter weather. Fall is an ideal time to de-thatch and fertilize your lawn, and all perennials (except for roses) should be deadheaded and trimmed back. Remove expiring annuals, amend tired soils, and mulch for cool-weather soil protection.
- Pipes. For homes in freezing areas, take care that you drain all exterior pipes of water, before the colder weather sets in. Pipes with remnant water, whether a faucet or your irrigation system, can freeze during the winter, causing ruptures in your water lines that may not become apparent until you use the lines again in the spring.
- Winterize. Finally, cold weather seeping into your home from outside can dramatically raise your heating bills, and leave your household unnecessarily drafty. Winterize your home by checking and replacing worn exterior caulking on windows, and adding weatherstripping to the bottom of exterior doors. In some areas, you may need to rehang storm windows or replace screens with glass. Take time to examine each room for holes, cracks, gaps or drafts; it’s well worth the time, and can save you money and discomfort in the months to come!
Keeping these few steps in mind will help keep your home, whether a new home or a pre-existing home, up to par.