It's that time of year again! Fall is right around the corner and it's time to make sure your home is ready for the leaves and temperature to drop. Here is a quick home maintenance checklist to keep you on task.
1. Forget Pruning. Stick to Raking and Mulching.
A common landscaping mistake is to prune trees and plants in the fall. Unless there are overgrown branches that could be a safety concern during snowfall, leave the pruning until spring, when plants' growth is at its peak. You can, however, rake and mulch your yard. This will provide nutrients to your lawn and keep it from suffocating underneath fallen leaves.
2. Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
To keep your gutters and downspouts working properly throughout the winter, give them a good cleaning before the autumn leaves start to fall. Clogged gutters can lead to any number of problems throughout the colder seasons including roof leaks, ice dams, foundation cracks and damaged gutters or fascia boards. Install GutterStuff's Original Foam Filters to keep falling leaves and debris out, while letting water flow freely to the downspouts.
3. Do Exterior Repairs and Seal Gaps
Check for places around your home that could potentially have cracks or holes. Common problem areas are roof edges, underneath stairs or decks, window and door seals. Sealing these areas will keep critters out and save you money on energy bills.
4. Stock Up on Winter Supplies
Firewood, eco-friendly ice melt, and a backup generator will help keep you toasty and safe when the wintry temperatures roll in.
5. Shut Off Exterior Faucets
To keep water from freezing in hoses or pipes, make sure to turn off all exterior faucet and water sources.
6. Store Hoses and Outdoor Furniture
Get ahead of the game and get all of your outdoor furniture and hoses stored now. Leaving everything out too long could damage your grass and cause furniture to rust if left in the cold temperatures too long. Not to mention pesky leaves piling on top!
7. Consider Weather-Stripping
Weather-stripping is an inexpensive way to seal any invisible leaks around door jams and window frames. You should be able to find weather-stripping materials at any hardware store and it will help keep warm air in and cold air out!
8. Check All Safety Devices
Check batteries or hire a professional to check all safety devices i.e. fire alarms, radon detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, etc.
9. Remove Window A/C Units & Cover Outdoor HVAC Units
When temperatures fall below 60 degrees, it's time to remove your window A/C unit or cover your outdoor HVAC air conditioner. If left exposed to colder temps or snow, it could cause damage to these units. Each type of air conditioner can require different maintenance/storage steps, so make sure to do a little research before getting started.
10. Don't Forget About the Chimney
The chimney is another airway that should be sealed before fall and winter seasons. By making sure that your home is draft proof, you could save up to 20% on energy bills!