I’m always on the hunt for good reminders. Busy schedules lead to forgetfulness, and forgetfulness leads to “why are my gutters overflowing when it rains?”. Well, I’m here to help check one item off your box – a reminder for the things you need to consider when the seasons begin to get colder! Follow the info below, and don’t forget to subscribe for more tips and reminders!
Autumn Home Prep
The leaves on the trees are changing colour, the temperatures are beginning to drop unveiling the beginning of Autumn. While the immediate thing on the to-do list may be to rake the fallen leaves out of the yard, there are more ways to prepare your home for the colder months ahead.
Caring for your Backyard
Clean Out Gutters and Check Your Roof
Scooping out debris in your gutters and checking for damage – your gutters are an important tool that safely drain water from your roof, if damaged or blocked, you could end up with water damage.
Putting a piece of hardboard at the bottom of the downpipe to prevent debris from getting into the gully or drain where it could cause a blockage. Once finished, remove the wood and dump some water into the gutter to ensure a blockage still didn’t occur.
Factors such as wildlife, weather and surrounding trees will speed up the deterioration process of the 15 to 20 year lifespan for your roof. You can look for signs of worn, loose or missing shingles and shingles with mold or rot on them. You may also find parts of your shingles in the gutters while you’re cleaning them out.
If you have a metal, tiled or roof with solar panels it’s best to have a professional do an inspection.
Autumn is the perfect time to rejuvenate your lawn for next spring. The harshness of the summer heat can prevent moisture from getting to the deeper part of the soil. While the ground is still soft before winter, it is a good idea to aerate or spike your lawn, which will help water, nutrients, and air sink deeper into the soil and to the grass root. Overseeding will also improve the thickness of your lawn for the next warm season.
There are also many flowers and plants that benefit from the colder temperatures to help them germinate. Leaving leaves in your flowerbeds will also help provide nutrients to the soil as they decompose by turning to mulch and provides shelter to important insects through winter.
Fill In Cracks
Caulking around windows, vents, cables, pipes and doors prevents cold air from getting in and your inside air from getting out.
Cracks in cement and wood that are filled in correctly can save your home from more damage in the long run. Water that freezes in cracks can expand, making cracks bigger and weakening the structural integrity of your property.
Turn off Outdoor Faucets
All faucets outside should have a shut-off valve located inside. These shut offs are usually located in the basement close to where the faucet exits basement to the outside, but can also be located further back in the home closer to where the pipe for the faucet branches off from the main water source. Once the water is turned off inside, open the outside faucet to let it completely drain.
Inside Your Home
Deep Clean Your Home
Fall cleaning is just as important as spring cleaning. Your windows are about to be closed for several months, creating a lack of ventilation. Keeping your home clean from dirt and dust will keep the air quality in your home fresh.
Sort through your belongings and donate as you declutter. This will help give you more space to enjoy the calm, cozy surroundings that the autumn season brings.
Make sure your heating accessories, such as your heaters and boiler, will run without a hitch when they’re needed most. It doesn’t hurt to have a quick inspection and to change the filter on the furnace.
If your home has an indoor fireplace, ensure it is up to code and has been cleaned and maintained by a professional, since they may be used often during the end of fall and winter.
Some of the best burning wood you stock up on for your indoor fireplace include hardwoods such as maple, ash, oak, birch and the longest burning firewood is hickory. These woods burn hotter, longer and hold less sap making them cleaner to handle and better for your fireplace.
Insulating your home is a great way to save money on energy bills. Windows expel 30% of indoor heating energy than through the rest of the house. Thermal blinds and heavy curtains can help keep the heat in and make your home cozy.
Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and inspect your fire extinguishers. This equipment should be considered as a means of both prevention and protection for the highest chance of safety and survival for your family in an emergency.
Soon we will be in Daylight Saving Time, and with longer nights will come more lighting needs. Your fireplace can be a primary light source but having energy saving bulbs that also create warm light is great for creating a cozy space. LED and CFL bulbs are best for your bills and come in different shades to best satisfy your needs.
Fall home maintenance is important for ensuring your property is in the best condition possible for enduring frosts, rain, and even snow. Early home maintenance can save you from having to repair more serious damage in colder weather.