Cooler air, PSL everything, changing leaves, and shorter days––it’s time to welcome fall. With all the things we love about the season, the truth is your home may be feeling the effects after a long, hot summer, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to keep your home running well. Fall is an important time to take care of any repairs and plan ahead for the winter months so you are not trying to fix things around your home once the weather is bad. So read on for our “prep your home for fall” to-do list and make sure your home is ready for the new season. Remember being proactive now can make a difference between dealing with an unfortunate issue or relaxing drinking your favorite latte by the fire!
1. Start at the Top
Time to get out that ladder and inspect your roof and gutters. As you know fall and winter can wreak havoc in those areas, so post-summer is the ideal time to inspect, clean out and repair anything that is loose. Take your time when inspecting roof valleys, since this is where rainfall and snow will collect. Any missing or damaged shingles could lead to a potential collapse. While you’re up there, take a look at your gutters and remove any leaves and dirt with a small shovel. Then pressure wash for an extra clean gutter, watching for any leaks. Be sure to walk the gutters near the ground as well, paying attention to any leaks which can cause gutters to collapse once heavy rains or snow hit.
2. Transition the Yard
As hard as it is to admit, long summer days spent in the backyard are over for awhile. It’s time to clean things up and have a storage plan for items you want to protect during the fall and winter. Remember to put away pool toys, purchase storage solutions for patio furniture cushions, and store decorative items that could break during a storm. Since you are needing a place to store items, this is also the ideal time to get the garage organized––hang those bikes up, throw away or donate items you don’t need anymore, and make sure tools such as flashlights are available and charged. If you have a deck, inspect for damage, and sand down any rough patches before restaining and sealing.
Don’t forget to monitor your lawn and make sure you give it one last trim towards the end of fall or early winter. A shorter lawn will be free from pests and won’t provide nests for mice and voles during the winter season. As you go to store your lawn mowers, remember to empty the gas tank before you store your mower to extend its life.
You aren’t the only one who needs to bundle up against the chill, your pipes need to as well. Indoors or out, make sure your plumbing is properly insulated, which can prevent heat from escaping and cause less stress on them. Also detach your hoses from faucet and coil them up, and shut down your sprinkler system and drain pipes to protect from freezing.
4. Heating Up
Fall is also the perfect time to check out the heat sources in your home. Consider having a heating specialist come out and look at your furnace, be sure to check the ducts to ensure they are clear and change your furnace filters. Make sure your ceiling fans are working for you in the winter too by changing the direction of the blades so they pull the heat up, and if you have a fireplace, it’s time to get it serviced and the flue cleaned.
5. Stock Up for the Winter
Use fall to proactively stock up on winter supplies so you aren’t left out in the cold! Check tools such as snow shovels and the snow blower, making sure they are in good working order. Restock items such as kitty litter, salt and extra ice melt in your garage. Purchase a new ice scraper for your car, and consider storing a shovel, flashlight, flares, and small emergency kit with a blanket and hand warmers in your car just in case.
6. Brighten Things Up
Finally, make sure your home is bright and beautiful all year long by prepping your flower beds and planting winter and spring blooming bulbs in the fall. You can also plant winter friendly plants in pots and use them on your patio or front porch to keep things cheerful.