Fall is just around the corner. In a few moments, the greens will transition into wonderful shades of red and orange. This maintenance checklist will make sure your house is ready for fall and the coming of winter!
Make Your Home Fall-Ready
Roof Maintenance Checklist
1. Clean and Check the Gutters and Downspouts
Leaves can pile up in your gutters and clog your downspouts. This may then lead to unfortunate cases of roof damage and indoor leakage.
If any parts of the gutters and downspouts are loose or crooked, repair or replace them right away. A small bend may seem minuscule, but it’s better to be safe and secure.
2. Make Sure the Roof Has No Missing/ Damaged Shingles and Moss
Moss can grow on your roof through moisture and organic debris. As it cultivates in your roof, it strips away the protective oils in your shingles. It also absorbs moisture. If not treated earlier, this moisture can build up and seep inside the house which will then lead to wood rot.
3. Clean the Chimney and Check the Flashing
With the cold breeze coming, it’s important that your chimney is clean and ready for the season. Check for cracks and repair if necessary. If you don’t have a chimney cap, you’ll probably need to install one. It’s a great way to keep critters out.
Make sure your flashing is in good condition. Most of the time, it can easily be repaired. Don’t hesitate to replace it if it needs to be.
4. Install a Gable Vent Screen
Gable vents are helpful for giving your attic proper ventilation. However, they can also serve as doors for small animals such as birds and bats.
With the decrease in temperature, these animals will want to seek shelter. Unless you’re absolutely okay with stray animals camping out in your attic, you’ll want to install a vent screen.
Garden Maintenance Checklist
5. Prune Trees and Shrubs
Pruning promotes growth. During the fall, it should be done strategically. With the months growing ever colder, your flora will not have sufficient time to heal.
What you can do is to focus on removing parts of the tree or shrub that are dead or decaying. You should also remove branches that may fall in dangerous spaces such as the roof.
6. Disconnect the Garden Hose and Turn off the Outdoor Faucets
While you still need to irrigate plants in the fall, you should still make sure to disconnect the garden hose from the faucets. Even if the weather’s only beginning to decrease in temperature, the nights will definitely be colder. Since water expands when it freezes, it will block the pressure released in the garden hose.
On that same note, you should also remember to shut off the valve to the outside faucets. The buildup of ice hinders proper water flow. It can also exert pressure on the pipes, which can lead to pipe bursts.
7. Properly Store Your Lawn Equipment
The cold season will not be kind to your equipment. Make sure any gas-powered equipment is empty of fuel. Filters in your mowers should also be cleaned and maintained. Blades should be sharpened and any repairs that can be done should be done.
Preparing and maintaining your lawn equipment for the fall will help keep them safe during the onslaught of winter and make them last longer in general. Besides, this will help ease the preparation for when spring arrives.
8. Aerate and Overseed the Lawn
Having compacted soil in your lawn means that there is a hindrance to its overall health. Air, water, and nutrients aren’t able to penetrate the roots and thus, hindering proper growth. Aeration is an important procedure that helps relieve this soil compaction.
After aerating the lawn, you should now proceed to overseeding. This helps create a dense covering of grass. Doing this after aeration is an optimal way of ensuring that the seeds will germinate quicker.
These two procedures are best done in the early fall. This way, there’s time for the new patches of grass to grow and develop before the frost arrives.
Home Exterior Maintenance Checklist
9. Check and Insulate Exposed Pipes
Reduce the risk of pipe freezes and bursts by insulating all exposed pipes. This also reduces heat loss, which helps to reduce water heating costs.
10. Check the Foundation for Cracks
Small cracks can easily become bigger, especially with unforgiving weather conditions. Since water expands when it freezes, any water that turns to ice in one of these cracks can lead to some serious damages. Make sure to check if there are any unwanted openings or cracks, and repair or caulk when necessary.
11. Patch Cracks and Repair Damage to Concrete Steps, Driveways, or Walkways
Fixing all of these should be done before the snowfalls. Cracks and damages in the steps and walkways can be dangerous, especially since they’re going to be covered. While fixing them early on can prevent unfortunate accidents, it also helps ease the task of shoveling and cleaning the snow.
12. Cover Patio Furniture or Bring Them Indoors
Of course, you can still use your patio furniture during early fall. However, you should cover or store them inside before the projected snowfall. Snow may seem soft and all, but it can easily chip away at your furniture.
Home Interior Maintenance Checklist
13. Check Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
To battle the freezing cold, you’re going to fire up those fireplaces and heaters. While they’re excellent in keeping you warm, they also emit a dangerous gas called carbon monoxide. Having a detector helps to keep your exposure to the gas in check.
Make sure to inspect the condition of your alarms and detectors. Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep a couple of extra batteries in hand.
14. Check If All Heating Equipment Are in Good Condition
The last thing you want is to complain about how your house isn’t getting warm enough. Check the furnaces. Clean the fireplace. Make sure that the heating systems have sufficient sources, may it be fuel, gas, electricity, etc. If you’re not too confident in cleaning or repairing, don’t hesitate to hire a professional.
15. Switch the Ceiling Fan Direction to Clockwise
During the colder seasons, your ceiling fan should rotate clockwise. This way, cool air is pushed up while warm air is pushed down. This is an easy way to make the room feel warmer. Plus, it helps in keeping you from spending too much on your electric bill since heater use can be decreased!
16. Check for Air Leaks in Your Window and Door Frames.
You can test if you have an air leak by holding a lighted candle close to the joints and connections of the frame. If it flickers, you have an air leak. There are three ways in which you can easily fix this: caulking, weather stripping, or applying sealant.
Want to keep pests away from your house during the fall? This video by TERRO will show you how:
Always remember: preparation is key! If you’re prepared for every situation, then maintaining your house during the fall won’t be complicated. This fall maintenance checklist will help remind you of the things you need to do around the house.
No matter how big or small something is, it doesn’t hurt to be two steps ahead. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
How fall-ready is your house? Tell us in the comments down below!
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