By Judy L. Marchman
Fall is here and that means football season, leaves changing colors and pumpkin spice everywhere. But it also means winter is right around the corner and that it’s time to get your house in shape for those colder temperatures.
So, while it’s still mild enough outside, here are several fall maintenance tips to keep your home warm and cozy until spring rolls around.
1. Check and wrap exterior pipes and plumbing.
No one wants frozen and busted pipes, so make sure to wrap any exterior plumbing and faucets. If you have any water hoses still hooked up, remove and drain them before storing for winter.
2. Clean chimneys and service furnaces.
It’s best to call in professionals for this task. Your chimney should be checked at least once a year to ensure there are no structural issues or debris caught inside that could catch fire. Your furnace should also be serviced to make sure it is operating properly and efficiently — before that first cold spell.
3. Inspect the roof and clean the gutters.
Looking over your roof for any damaged shingles is important, but it may be worth bringing in a professional to not only check the shingles, but also to inspect the seals on air vents to prevent water leaks. And cleaning your gutters is never fun, but it does ensure proper runoff during heavy rain.
4. Check doors and windows for air leaks.
Feel around your doors and windows for any drafts and add weather stripping or caulk to seal up any leaks.
5. Trim trees.
Ice storms and heavy snow can wreak havoc on tree limbs, so if you have a lot of large trees — and especially if any are close to your house or near power lines — it could be worth the extra expense now to bring in a professional to clean up your trees and prevent a much larger repair expense down the road.
6. Aerate and fertilize the lawn.
If you have cooler weather grasses, such as rye or fescue, now’s the time to aerate and fertilize your lawn to keep the roots healthy and growing. Your local garden specialist can help you with the proper steps and equipment needed. A mechanical core aerator — usually available for rent at most home and garden stores — is recommended.
7. Change smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
The media provides reminders to do this twice a year in conjunction with Daylight Saving Time, and that’s a good practice to follow. So mark your calendar, because Daylight Saving Time ends this year on Sunday, Nov. 1.
Like having a checklist to keep track of maintenance and cleaning tasks? We found this great printable checklist from Household Management 101 on Pinterest. It includes “fall cleaning” chores for both inside the home and out, so tack it to the refrigerator and get the whole family involved. Your home will be ready for winter in no time.