Fall is the perfect time of the year to rethink your home’s conditions. During hot and lazy summer you might have some little repairs and remodels left for later and the fall is that later. Taking care of some little things can make a huge difference for your house. Preparing your home to cooler weather is a must. Most of the tips we’ll mention below are easy to DIY. But, even if you need to get professional help, it is worth the expense, as it will save you money and taking into consideration the unexpected weather, sometimes your life. So, for your family’s and your safety, make sure to get your home ready for Fall and Winter.
Gutters come first
It’s very important to keep the roof’s drainage system flowing smoothly. Make sure to clean out the gutters removing leaves and other debris. If you don’t clean gutters, there will form ice dams and that will lead to big problems. The drainage system will stop working and the water will seep into your home causing different issues and extra energy costs. Remember that in areas with cold winters, outdoor faucets need to be drained in the walls. After cleaning gutters check for misalignments and see if the water runs through without any difficulty.
Check the heating system
Preparing for the fall includes checking the heating system. Make sure the heating vents are not blocked or covered by furniture, carpets or curtains. Check all vents and clean all filters. Have an annual heating system check-up by a professional. If you use a gas-heater, be sure it’s in good shape and is working properly. Not only will you save money on heating, but you will also be safe from poisons that could be spewing into the air if is improperly maintained.
Days are becoming shorter and we have less daylight during fall and winter months. In order to save energy, it’s a good idea to have energy starred fixture for outdoor lighting. An extra saving will be products with automatic daylight shut-off. As well as installing energy saver products and bulbs outdoors to light the pathway and porch you can also have LED or CFL lights for your home to save money, as we turn on lights for longer hours.
Store air conditioners when preparing for the fall. Be sure to unplug them before taking down. Also, have your removable air conditioners dusted and cleaned before covering. Winterizing air conditioning may be necessary if you live in a climate where you don’t need them after summer. So remove or cover outdoor units to prevent air leaks.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Change batteries for smoke and CO detectors as needed. They may also need to be vacuumed. Try to install smoke and CO detectors on every floor and basement of your house. Test all safety devices with the test button or by holding a smoke source near each unit. All detectors must be installed and maintained properly.
Stairs, drives, and walks
Damaged walkways, steps, and drives are more dangerous when they are dump or icy. Fix these problems now to prevent becoming costly and huge issues. See if there are wide cracks and lost railings on stairs. Major repairs need to be left to professionals still small jobs can be done by each of us, if we are handy enough.
Fireplace and chimney
Here again, you’ll need a more experienced hand for the chimney cleaning. You can clean the fireplace and clear out ash on your own. Ask the chimney cleaner check the damper to be sure it’s tightly closed.
Do a roof check
If you know that there are no major issues, just have it visually inspected from the ground. If you are able and can do it safely, climb on up and have a close look to see if there are missing or damaged shingles. As your roof is your first defense in protecting your home, it’s better to have it repaired in the fall than to leave small problems and let them become expensive headaches during winter.
Have the water heater ready for cooler weather. Drain the water heater and clean out the debris from the tank.
Firewood and gasoline
Buy extra gasoline for use in snow blower or generator. Make sure you’re prepared for emergencies. Keep it away from fire sources and out of children’s reach. Also, order enough firewood for the season. Remember it should be dry and ready for use and keep it covered and store away from the house for safety.
In the garage
Clean and organize your garage. After summer you should empty fuel and clean lawnmower and trimmer. Store summer vehicles and have them serviced. Besides, you should service the snow blower and be sure it’s ready for use, especially if you live in an area with unpredictable climate. If you have an emergency generator for power outages, test it to have it in good shape and working order.
- Close the pool
- Put away seasonal furniture
- Bring in flowerpots
- Trim landscaping
- Inspect trees
- Inspect siding
By: Hermine Aslanyan
Additional Valuable Resources:
Great Curb Appeal Can Sell Your Home by Deb Rhodes
Tips to Sell Your Home in The Fall by Bill Gassett
…Did I Miss Something? What Would You Add?
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