You might be ready for Fall, but is your house? Check out these 11 Fall maintenance tips to keep your home safe and looking fresh.
#1: Regularly clean gutters and downspouts.
They may not be yet, but those leaves will start falling soon and they'll quickly clog up your gutters. Make yourself a reminder to clean them out weekly, semi-weekly, etc. You might also want to consider installing gutter guards to make your job even easier.
#2: Consider giving your outside paint job a tune-up.
With the lower humidity and cooler temperatures, fall is a great time to consider painting the exterior of your home. So, if you've been wanting to spruce things up, now's the time!
#3: Have your roof inspected.
Many of you probably had your roofs looked at after the storms that blew through here during the spring and summer. But if it hasn't been looked at in a while, it's a great time to have someone come look at it for wear and tear. Keep an eye out for curling or buckling shingles. You'll also want to keep an eye on the flashing around your skylights, pipes and chimneys. If there are any leaks or gaps, any ice we get this winter could find its way inside your house.
#4: Go ahead and turn off the valves to your exterior hose bibs.
You may still need them for a few more weeks since the weather is still kind of warm, but it's a good idea to turn off your valves before those freezing temperatures hit. This will prevent exterior pipes from bursting. All you need to do is run the water until the pipes are empty and then make sure all the water is drained from the pipes. If it's not, the water can freeze and damage the pipes.
#5: Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected and cleaned.
There's nothing I love more in the colder months than lighting a fire in my fireplace. Before you get your first fire going, it's probably a good idea to have it inspected and cleaned to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
#6: Replace your air filters.
I always recommend you do this about every 30 days anyway, but if it's been a while, you'll especially want to change your filters out now. It might also be a great time to have a licensed HVAC technician come inspect your system so that your heat works properly when the cold weather comes.
#7: Scope out your attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly.
There's nothing worse than paying for heat that's just escaping through your attic, so it's a great idea to make sure your attic insulation is properly installed. You want to make sure the vapor barrier on the insulation is facing down toward the living space. If it's installed correctly, it will trap any moisture that could cause possible water problems.
#8: Check the seals around your windows and doors.
The change in temperature can cause window seals to crack and shrink. Look at your windows and doors (inside and out) for leaks and drafts. If you find any, just caulk the cracks or install weather stripping.
#9: Prep your landscaping.
Fall is the perfect time to divide or move perennials. After you get them where you want them, mulch them. Just make sure you don't cover the center of the plant because that can lead to rot. You can also go ahead and remove any of your dead annuals or remove them before they die when the freezing temperatures hit.
Speaking of removing dead stuff, you should also trim dead branches out of your trees to prevent hem from causing damage during winter storms. Rake up any leaves that fall so they don't kill your grass. You can use the leaves you rake up to make mulch or in a compost pile. Don't waste them if you can help it! They are an excellent source of nutrients.
Fall is also the perfect time to clean your garden tools before storing them away for the winter.
#10: Seal entryways to your house to prevent pests from taking up residence inside.
Pests love attics because they're full of all sorts of goodies that make great nests and they offer easy access to the rest of the house. But even after you seal those entrances to your house, pests can still find ways inside. So be sure to check behind your appliances and in cabinets for any unwanted guests.
#11: Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.
First of all, how is it that the batteries always die at 2:00am?? Anyways, I digress. Now is a great time to check all your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to make sure they're working and to install new batteries.