Home Maintenance Ideas for Fall
Summer is officially over, and you are probably about ready to hang up the lawn care tools until spring rolls back around. But don’t put them away just yet! Autumn is the ideal season to prepare your lawn for the chilly months ahead. In fact, with autumn’s moderate weather, it is an ideal time to repair any damages around your home before the first frost sets in. Here are some home maintenance ideas that will keep your home running in peak condition all winter long and prepare your yard for the next spring.
1. Exterior Maintenance
- Check the foundation for cracks and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping. Caulking and sealing openings is inexpensive and very effective.
- Inspect exterior walls to see if any paint is peeling on the house. Peeling paint can no longer protect the siding, and left uncorrected, the siding itself will deteriorate, leading to expensive repairs in the future.
- Inspect for missing and loose shingles. Your roof is the first defense in protecting your home, so you’ll want to make sure it is in good shape. Without it functioning properly, water damage can occur, which can cause deterioration to insulation, wood and drywall, leaving electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems vulnerable.
- Clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.
- Examine your pool cover for damage and replace if necessary.
- Weather-strip your garage door. Make sure the seal between your garage door and the ground is tight to prevent drafts and keep out small animals.
- Inspect your driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer.
2. Interior Maintenance
- Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor. Heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer and have fewer problems if properly serviced.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
- Test and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and keep extra household batteries on hand.
- Check basement windows for drafts, loose frames or cracked panes.
- Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners. Remove units from windows or wrap outside box with an approved tarp or plastic air conditioner cover in order to prevent rusting of vital parts.
- Clean your humidifiers regularly during the heating season. Bacteria and spores can develop in a dirty water tank resulting in unclean moisture misting out into your room.
3. Yard Maintenance
- Remove Any Debris
You’ll want to rake regularly to help remove dead leaves and other debris that left unattended will smother the grass and prevent growth. Organic waste like leaves and weeds attract pests like mice and groundhogs. Excessive yard debris can cause damage to your yard’s drainage, which can cause a problem once all the snow melts.
- Don’t Stop Mowing Just Yet
Fall yard maintenance is all about helping prepare your lawn to withstand the freezing temperatures ahead. It’s important to continue watering and mowing your lawn as needed. Once the season draws to a close and the temperature begins to drop, you should set your mower’s blades to their lowest setting for the last couple of cuts of the season. This will allow more sunlight to reach the crown of the grass and allow the soil to dry out faster in the spring. Once the temperatures consistently drop below 50 degrees during the day, it’s time to put away the mower for the season.
- Rake Over Bare Spots
If your lawn is looking patchy, Fall is a great time to take care of any bare spots. The easiest way to handle the dead areas in your lawn is to pick up an all-in-one lawn repair mixture from your local home improvement or lawn care store. This solution usually contains a mixture of grass seed, fertilizer, and organic mulch.