Home Maintenance Series: Fall

Fall is one of the most important seasons for home care. Your yard will require some TLC, and you’ll want to make sure every area of your home is ready for the cooler weather to come. Below are some good guidelines on what to cover during September, October, and November:

Outside of Your Home:

Fall is a great time to work in your garden. When the snow melts in the Spring, you’ll be so thankful for the perennial bulbs and shrubs you planted the fall before. Consider reseeding your lawn for a greener Spring. Just be sure to take care of these tasks before the ground freezes.

You can also trim flowering trees during the “Ber” months to avoid losing their display during the following season.

For your lawn, consider a light raking, or simply mowing once per week to break down the leaves. You don’t want to leave a thick layer of leaves on the ground due to mold growth, but a light layer will provide much-needed insulation for tree roots and ground plants.

For your home’s exterior, you’ll want to:

  • Clean your gutters and make sure all downspouts are in working condition.
  • Shut off outdoor faucets, put away hoses, and turn off sprinklers for the season.
  • Clean, close, and cover your pool if you have one.
  • Gather wood for your fireplace if applicable (and store outside to avoid bringing bugs into your home).

Inside of Your Home:

Fall serves as a nice gap where contractors are available after a busy summer. You may want to tackle those house projects you’ve been kicking around, such as painting the walls or remodeling the bathroom or kitchen.

You’ll also want to look at your heating and cooling equipment. Get your central air services so it’s ready in the spring. And make sure window units are sealed around all edges, or consider taking them out for the season.

For the heaters, have them serviced. It’s better to know about issues before they arise than when your house is too cold to stay in for another day.

  • Check and replace filters.
  • Ensure ductwork is in working condition and nothing is blocking it.
  • Make sure your thermostat works well.
  • Drain and refill your boiler.
  • Have a professional look at your radiators to ensure they’re efficient.
  • Get your chimney cleaned and inspected if you didn’t in the Spring.

You can also keep your house warm in the cooler months by making sure cold air can’t come inside.

  • Check windows and doors for drafts. Caulk around the edges if necessary.
  • Install storm windows and glass door panels if you have them.

Other spots to check in the Fall include:

  • Your dryer vent — this is a common fire-starting spot, so you’ll want to get it cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors — make sure they’re working well and don’t need new batteries.

So Fall may be busy, but a warm, safe home is well worth your effort. Get to work inside and out — your Winter and Spring selves will thank you for it!

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