Fall is officially here, and before long, leaves will be falling and there will be a chill in the air. As the trees begin to change colors, it’s a great time to get your home ready for the coming season. As the weather gets colder, you’ll want to make sure your home is prepared for what’s to come.
Put these nine tasks on your to-do list each fall to make sure you’re ready for the colder months before they hit.
Inspect your home’s exterior
Look for cracks in your foundation as well as peeling paint to make repairs. Cracks can be caulked to seal them from water damage or to prevent cold air from getting in, and vice versa. You’ll want to do the same with any peeling paint to ensure walls are protected from the elements. Keep in mind that some issues, such as cracks in foundation that occur due to settling of the home, may be a sign of a bigger problem. If you have concerns, get in touch with a contractor you trust or a trustworthy foundation repair company that can determine what must be fixed before winter sets in.
Schedule a checkup for your heating system
Take care of any routine maintenance that needs to be done on your HVAC system by scheduling a fall checkup. An HVAC company will come in and check carbon monoxide levels, test your smoke detectors, inspect your system, replace dirty filters, and more. It’s a good idea to schedule these twice per year: in the spring before you turn your air conditioning on, and in the fall before you have your heat kick on.
Check your interior for drafts
When cold air gets in, it can drive up your heating costs. To help combat this issue, fix any interior drafts that may cause problems in the winter. Seal up windows with caulk and add weatherstripping where necessary. You may also want to cover drafty windows with plastic, layer your window treatments, or use door snakes to keep the cold air from sneaking in through door jams.
Have your chimney inspected
If you have a chimney you want to use, make a chimney inspection part of your fall routine. A professional inspector looks for damages that may have been caused by weather or other incidents and will find potential cracks or gaps that can make it unsafe for use. Do not use your chimney until it’s been properly inspected to ensure you keep your home and family safe.
Remember that old campaign that says, “Change your clocks, change your batteries.” That means once the time changes, it’s a great reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarm, too. To keep your family safe, be sure to change out fresh batteries in your smoke detector every spring and fall so you know you can trust them to work if you need them.
Clean gutters are important, and as leaves and debris continue to fall during the season, you’ll need to stay on top of keeping them unobstructed. Leaves in your gutters will prevent water from flowing smoothly. It can lead to water damage, foundation damage, rot, unwanted pests, and more. Be sure to regularly clean your gutters as leaves fall through the season.
Prepare your yard for the winter
Your yard needs a little extra love before the winter weather sets in. Get your yard ready for fall and winter with a few steps. It’s time to seed and feed your lawn for the fall, prune your trees, plant bulbs, and manage cleanup before the cold sets in.
Drain and store hoses
When you’ve done watering your garden and yard for the fall, take the time to store your hose by disconnecting and draining it. If you don’t take that step and it’s left attached to a faucet, be aware that it can cause water to freeze and expand in the hose. Not only can the hose break or crack, but it can lead to frozen pipes as well. Take the time to put your hoses away.
Winterize your pool
If you have a swimming pool, you’ll need to prepare it for the winter to prevent unwanted mold and algae growth, and to keep the equipment safe for the winter. Be sure to remove all pool accessories, deep clean the pool, lower the water levels, and add a cover. Covering the pool and draining the water keeps freezing water from expanding and damaging the pool’s hoses and pipes. Taking these extra steps will help you be ready for opening it up with ease the following summer.
Properly preparing your home for the seasons will keep your house protected and your heating bills lower while ensuring you’re ready for spring. It’s a worthwhile task that pays off in the long run.
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