As the pumpkin spice products hit the shelves, the anticipation of autumn’s arrival can be an exciting experience. Even the trees seem to celebrate this season by changing the color of their leaves to something bright and cheerful.
When the fall season arrives, your home needs a little attention before everyone puts on their sweaters as the weather gets colder.
1. Inspect and Clean the Gutters
The average gutter system drains thousands of gallons of precipitation from your roof each year. As time passes, some debris gets clogged in there. It adds weight to the system while preventing water from flowing as expected.
Most gutters require cleaning once or twice per year. It could be a quarterly chore if you have trees that overhang the roof.
Gutters over ten years old should be evaluated for a replacement to ensure your house is ready for the fall.
2. Check Windows and Doors for Drafts
Heat loss in homes is responsible for up to 30% of energy use during the colder months of the year. Check your entryways and windows to see if drafts are coming through that could be stopped.
Weatherstripping is a cost-effective way to create comfortable indoor environments without needing to use more energy.
If a single piece of paper can slide under a door or through a window, you’ll need to update the weatherstripping in that space.
3. Drain the Outdoor Plumbing
All the outdoor faucets must be turned off and the pipes drained before the temperatures reach freezing. It helps to disconnect the garden hoses and roll them up for storage through the winter.
If you have sprinklers, the lines might need to be blown out before the cold weather arrives. This work might need to be done by a specialty provider.
Some homes have outdoor pipes that bring water indoors. Try to add insulation around the areas that receive weather exposure.
4. Store Your Outdoor Furniture
It takes time and money to create an outdoor paradise to use during summer at home. If you have room to store it indoors for the winter in a garage or shed, fall is the perfect time to take care of this chore.
Some items are rated to withstand rain or snow, but you can preserve the life of your outdoor furniture better by keeping it indoors. If that isn’t possible, invest in an appropriate cover that will protect everything until spring arrives.
5. Repair Concrete Cracks
When water gets into or underneath concrete, it can freeze and expand to make it even bigger during the winter. It doesn’t take long for the material to crumble.
Many homes sit on concrete foundations. The fall months are the perfect time to repair any areas that require attention. It’s also a great time to consider fixing cracks in porches, driveways, patios, and garage floors.
Many projects only need some crack sealer pumped into the gap. Fill up the space, let it dry, and you’re ready for the winter.
6. Change or Clean Home Filters
Clogged HVAC filters make it harder for a furnace to push warm air throughout the home. That means additional energy gets used while the system works harder, potentially reducing its expected lifespan.
Filters should be cleaned monthly for the best results. If you use disposable products, try vacuuming them once before replacing them to save a little money.
7. Prepare the Lawn for Winter
If you want to keep your grass strong and healthy throughout the winter, you’ll need to give it some fertilizer during the autumn months. The roots are still active, so providing the plants with some extra food can help them stay healthy.
8. Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries
Fall’s arrival often means that the clocks change. That’s a good time to check or replace the batteries in your warning equipment. The two most important items to review are the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
When the fall season arrives, your home needs a little help to prepare for colder temperatures. Following these steps can help protect your property and potentially save some money by preventing future problems.