Getting Ready for Fall
Temperatures are slightly cooler, the days are getting shorter, and pretty soon leaves will start covering lawns. These are reminders that fall season is fast approaching. As the seasons change, so do our activities and home needs. Here are some tips, that with a bit of attention now, will save costly repairs and aggravation later.
Check for drafts
. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.
Have your furnace inspected
. Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. Also have a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra air filters and change them every few months.
Check thermostat settings
. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.
Test home safety devices
. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.
. Replace old filters and clean inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well.
Do a roof check
. You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.
Check the chimney and fireplace
. If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
Stock up on firewood
. Order enough firewood for the season. If you gather your own firewood, make sure it’s dry and ready. It’s best to cover firewood and store away from the house for safety reasons.
. Check home exterior for cracks or holes. Repair them yourself or hire a professional.
Clean the gutters
. Hire a service to clear your gutters or do it yourself. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks.
Check water drainage
. Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
Reinforce windows and doors
. Remove screens and install storm windows and doors if you use them. Check caulk and seals around all doors and windows.
. Check for damaged limbs that may break or that are too close to power lines or the roof.
Bring in flowerpots
. If you keep plants or flower in pots year-round, bring them inside. If you replace plants every year, empty, clean, dry pots and put away for next spring.
. If you plant bulbs for spring, now’s the time to get them in the ground.
. Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it.
Organize the shed
. As your shed is filling up with summer items in storage it’s a good time to organize and clean out the shed. Move summer items to the back and winter stuff up front for better access.