7 Fall Maintenance Musts
Get your home in gear by completing these essential fall tasks, that will not only guard your home against cold-weather threats, but also make maintenance much easier come spring!
1) Fix the Flow
While fall foliage can be beautiful, it can also be a hindrance to your gutters. Leaves and other debris can quickly accumulate, preventing proper drainage, and possibly leading to even bigger headaches when winter finally arrives. Remove any visible buildup, then flush the gutter with a garden hose or bucket of water and check the flow. Clearing your gutters now will prevent overflow later, giving you one less potential problem to worry about during the cold months.
2) Drain the Faucets
You don’t want to overlook this task! Avoid winter water mishaps by turning off outside faucets and in-ground irrigation systems to prevent them from freezing and bursting when the temperature plummets. You’ll also want to close any shut-off valves and open outside faucets to drain the lines completely. Finish by draining any lingering water and putting away garden hoses and sprinklers to prevent them from being harmed by the harsh winter weather.
3) Find the Fire Extinguishers
‘Tis the season for candles, cooking, and gathering around the fireplace—and all these seasonal flames can quickly lead to accidents. While they may not be the prettiest items in your home, fire extinguishers are certainly some of the most important. Whether you just have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or one on every floor of the house, early fall is a great time to inspect your fire extinguishers, make sure they’re accessible and in working order, and review their proper use.
4) Fiddle with the Furnace
These crisp days of early fall are delightful, but less delightful frigid temperatures are on their way. Inspect your furnace now so you can take care of any problems before you really need that heat. Many experts recommend changing the furnace filter every few months, but a regular maintenance program should also include checking the pilot light, thermostat and opening heating vents to make sure everything is working safely and efficiently. You can always call in a professional to inspect and service your furnace as well.
5) Check the Batteries
I mean…. have you watched This is Us? You may think it’s okay to wait until you hear that helpful low-battery chirp before checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but think again. It’s recommended that you test smoke detectors once a month and replace batteries every six months for best performance. Add this task to your fall— and spring—checklist to ensure your home and family’s safety. A good rule of thumb: check your detectors when you change the clocks in fall and spring.
6) Inspect the Fireplace
Relaxing by the fire is a favorite cold-weather pastime, but before your first gathering of the season, have your chimney and fireplace evaluated by a licensed inspector. If you have the structure serviced properly, it will function more efficiently, and you should be able to avoid any accidents caused by creosote buildup, dirty flues, or other hidden dangers. Make sure you have dry wood easily accessible to fuel your wood-burning fireplace during those cold winter nights.
7) Keep the Plants Warm (you know, if it ever gets cold)
After you’ve finished deadheading your perennials, pulling up annuals, and trimming ornamental shrubs, consider adding a layer of mulch to your flower beds. This extra blanket of warmth helps protect tender plants during the winter, increasing the chances that they’ll survive until spring. While you can use a pre-made product like cedar mulch, consider creating your own by shredding and mulching the leaves from your lawn.
Tailored from Bob Villa’s blog.