It would be wonderful if getting your home ready for fall were as simple as raking some leaves and hanging a wreath. Unfortunately, as a homeowner, getting your home ready for fall does require some other preparations should be done to prepare for a new season. Follow along in this month’s blog for quick tips on other things you should address inside and outside of the house before the snow flies.
Before winter hits make sure to check for any drafts. Make sure that you don’t have any holes or broken wood around your doors or windows. If you do notice a draft or come across some wood that needs to be replaced, you should make sure to fix it before you have to turn the thermostat on. You may just need to reseal the weather stripping around the door if it’s a small draft. Check all the windows and sliding doors as well. Leaky windows can lead to chilly drafts and elevated utility bills in the cold winter months. There are lots of different options for sealing the windows, such as specialized foam tape or door sweeps. It is important not to forget the garage when you are checking doors as well.
If you plan it appropriately, you will be able to check the window seals when you are cleaning your windows. Having dirty windows blocks the sun’s rays and hurts the energy efficiency of your home. If you want to clean your screens, now is a good time to do it while you’re already washing the windows and while the weather is still warm.
One of the first things on your end-of-summer list should be to clean your rain gutters. Rain gutters can get filled with dirt, leaves, sticks and other debris that may have piled up over the season. You want to make sure you keep your gutters clean so that they don’t get clogged. Clogged gutters can’t let rainwater flow where it is supposed to go and so it runs over the edge and could potentially run over the side and erode the siding or seep into the windows.
As your potted annuals come to the end of their season, throw the plant and dirt in your compost and clean out your pots for winter storage so that they will be ready for the next season.
Give your walkway, driveway, sidewalks and patio area a good sweep to get rid of all the dirt and debris. Then spray the surfaces down with your pressure washer and some soap, and you can make your outdoor surfaces sparkle again.
Over the course of the summer, your outdoor furniture can get quite dirty from rain, dust and general use. Hopefully, you will be able to use it for a while longer, but before you pack it up for the winter, make sure to scrub it with some warm soapy water and a cloth to get it clean.
Don’t forget to give your cushions a wash before you store them for the winter. Mix some dish detergent, Borax, and warm water in a bucket and scrub with a hard bristle brush. Then rinse the cushions and allow them to dry in the sun.
After months of summer BBQs, your grill can end up pretty dirty and in need of a good clean. Before you store your grill for the winter, give it a good scrub so that you don’t attract any unwanted critters while it’s out of use.
If at the beginning of every season you take a little bit of time to clean up and organize your garage, then it becomes a small task that prepares you for all the activities in the coming season.
Before storing spring and summer equipment, clean and service it or take it to a small engine repair shop for maintenance. If you choose to do it yourself, drain and change engine oil and safely dispose of the old oil. Unused fuel left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale and even damage the equipment. Before storing equipment, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the engine off, allow the machine to cool, then restart and run until the gas tank is empty. Make sure that you have made space to store all summer equipment so that you aren’t tripping over it all weekend.
If you plan on using a snow blower this winter, make sure to do the appropriate maintenance and have it ready to go before the snow flies. Make sure you have salt on hand and a snow shovel if needed as well.
If you are a motorcyclist or an ATV enthusiast parking your machines for the winter, you should make sure you have a space ready to store them, and if you have the option to cover them for the winter, I would suggest doing that.
As summer comes to an end and we need to trade flip flops and shorts for winter boots and coats, it is important to remember that you will need a space for these boots and coats so that they don’t end up taking over your mudroom. Make sure you’re prepared for this season change.
You can choose to do this yourself or hire a professional to clean them out, which I recommend if it has been a while since they have been cleaned. If you want to clean your vents yourself, take your vacuum and vacuum over each heat register to clear out any dirt, dust or debris that has settled in over the summer months. Keeping your vents clean helps your furnace run more efficiently.
This one doesn’t generally take long, but it should be something you do on a yearly basis. Do a basic check of your furnace and if anything looks abnormal to you, you should call in a professional to take a look. Save yourself the added cost and be proactive. Now would be a good time to put in a new filter too if you haven’t recently. Replacing your furnace’s filter is a key to keeping your system running smoothly. Make sure you know what type of filter you need before buying a new one, as there are lots of different options available.
If you actively use a humidifier, especially during the dry winter months, you should make sure to clean it periodically. Clean the nozzles and change the water filter.
I hope you can use these tips to have your home ready for fall and winter. I’d like to hear from you; What are some things that you make sure to do to prepare for fall? Leave it in the comments!