Getting Your Home Ready For the Fall Season

Fall is here! We still have plenty of warm weather still ahead, but it’s time to think about getting our homes ready for the cold season.

 Have your furnace checked. You should have a professional check your furnace now – before you need it. The bucks you spent to have everything checked and fine-tuned now can save many more bucks in heating costs. Time to get your main heating system serviced – you know what happens when you do not – the heat does not work and it seems that everyone else had the same issue, so you get to wait and shiver until the heating person shows up.

If you have a fireplace or woodstove, you should already have your winter’s supply of wood already covered and being seasoned. If not get some stocked up quickly. You should also have the chimney(s) cleaned and checked before you fire it up

Detectors. Check all smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. They all have test buttons. If unsure, replace them. These things don’t have a long life, so don’t be surprised if you’re changing them after 4 or 5 years.  Replace all batteries. I replace every battery in the house when we change back our clocks. It’s a good way to remember

BasementCheck your basement for cracks or leaks, and seal or repair if possible. If you cannot get them repaired, at least take some pictures and document any problems you may find. This will at least give you a frame of reference come next spring to see how quickly problems are progressing.

If you have a sump pump, test, clean and lubricate it.

 Clean and Cap those gutters. Most of wait until we have clogged gutters with tiny little trees growing in them before we finally get up there to clean them out. While the leaves have not yet fallen, now is the time to check to make sure that all joints are tightly connected and free. Maybe it is time to cap them.  There are many low-cost options and you can check at the home improvement store for suggestions 

Check the Roof. Clean any debris off your roof, especially the valleys and ridge vents. While you are up there check your roof for any missing or damaged shingles, cracked or missing chunks of tar, rubber or silicone and make any small roof repairs required now.

Check the Exterior of Your House. Check the siding and doors – caulk & install new weather stripping as needed. Check every window as well. Remove and replace any caulking as needed.

 Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Check with your neighbors to see if more than one has a big job to tackle. We’ve had such crazy weather. You have tree limbs you need to prune.  Maybe there are others on your block who need to do a similar job. Combine resources and rent big tools, like pruners, together. By sharing the cost and helping each other with projects, you’ll save money and complete the job faster.

 Block Mulching Party. Ready to mulch the beds again! Don’t go buy bag after bag of mulch when, for much much less, you can have mulch delivered to your door by the truck load. Coordinate with neighbors and share this expense too. After doing this one you will begin making a habit of it. Not only will you save time and money, but you get to know your neighbors better too.

 Garden. Trim any trees, bushes, or other foundation plantings so that they do not rub or grow up against the house. All dead wood, shrubs, etc… should be removed to eliminate nesting areas for insects. Remove sick or dead trees and shrubs.

Take soil tests for necessary additives that may be needed for next year’s garden, lawns & planting beds (as each area requires different nutrients, consider three separate tests).

Check for Sales. Remember that now is a great time to get good deals on lawn equipment, such as mowers, weed whackers etc. If you know you’re going to need something, get it now on sale.

Decks. Check your decks and railings for signs of trouble and fix and loose boards or rails. We could have a great deal of snow (sorry) and the weight can further damage a deck with problems just starting.  Now is a great time of year to re-stain them. Check all the hand rails and steps to make sure they are clean, safe, and secure also

Check your Vehicles. Make sure that any small problems are taken care of now while it is still warm and you don’t mind spending the time. Check each tire’s tread and pressure, the battery, and all fluid levels.

Replace your windshield wipers, if they are 2 years old or older.

Create a winter emergency kit and put it in the trunk (snow chains, flares, water, high energy snacks, blankets, a flashlight with spare batteries, jumper cables, and a first aid kit)

Wash out your garbage cans. No explanation needed here 🙂


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