Fall is a whirlwind. Easy summer living quickly turns into busy routines, afternoon sports, weekend activities, and then before you know it you’ve been so busy fall turns into winter. Be sure to take care of these home maintenance tasks before the first freeze.
1) Shut off your hoses and bring in your hose reel. Frozen water expands and can very easily damage any mechanisms in your hose or the hose reel, so drain it and bring them indoors before the first freeze.
2) Clean out your gutters. Downspouts and gutters need to be cleared before the winter to prevent ice dams and to properly drain water out and away from your home. Make sure all drainage areas are cleared and unblocked by leaves and yard waste. Gutter guards are a great preventative measure as well!
3) Close crawl space vents. They’re not just decorative! They serve a purpose in the summer which is to cool and provide airflow but if you leave them open, you’re allowing for cold air to come in from outside!
4) Drain gas out of lawnmowers and other powered yard equipment. Skipping this step will make for a very frustrating spring when none of this equipment works!
5) Seal gaps where critters could enter as they seek shelter from cold. Any holes in the foundation or siding are little invitations for squirrels, chipmunks, and various other wildlife to enter your home. Hearing scratching in your walls or finding droppings in your cabinets is the worst!
6) Care for shrubs and trees. Pull out your annuals, trim your perennials, and if you have trees that aren’t hardy in the New England winter, you can wrap tree insulation around the trunk from the soil to the bottom of the lowest branch.
7) Rake leaves to promote spring grass growth. Did you know that those leaves act as great insulators for your flower beds and act as mulch? You can also put them in a compost pile as they will make your spring planting successful with all those harvested nutrients.
8) Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Making sure your filters in your heating system or furnace are clean to prevent toxic carbon monoxide from entering your home. As well, having your chimney inspected and cleaned will also protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
9) Switch out your batteries in all your detectors and check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher. The fall time-change is usually the trigger for this task, and it is essential in preventative maintenance!
10) Hire a plowing service. You don’t want to be stuck shoveling a long driveway because you waited too long to schedule a company to do in ten minutes what could take you three hours!
11) Bring your outdoor furniture inside. Make sure you protect those outdoor sectionals and dining sets with their pretty cushions! Clean them off and bring them in to keep them pristine.
Being a homeowner is a lot of work! Making sure you take care of things before they become problems keeps you and your family or roommates safe. It also cuts down on the emergency repairs that could be required if you skip these 11 important fall maintenance to-dos!