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Fall Home Maintenance Tips 2021

Published on September 21, 2021   maintenance tips

Fall has arrived! Cold days are ahead so it's a good time to prepare your home for harsh winter conditions. Here are 10 tips to get your home winter ready.

1. Clean the Gutters

An old plastic spatula makes a great tool for cleaning debris from gutters! It doesn't scratch up the gutter, and you can cut it to fit gutter contours with snips. Grime wipes right off the spatula too, making cleanup a breeze.

2. Check Smoke Detectors

With furnaces turned on, the windows closed and portable heaters humming along, fall is a great time to make sure your smoke and CO detectors are working. Check batteries and expiration dates – smoke detectors are typically good for 10 years, and CO detectors last for about six years.

3. Drain Garden Hoses

Garden hoses should be removed from outdoor faucets, drained of water and stored away indoors, such as in a garage. When garden hoses are not disconnected, the water in them can freeze and expand resulting in burst hoses and/or cracked pipes.

If your outdoor faucets have shut-off valves located on the inside of your home, turn them off. Consider insulating water pipes that are close to exterior walls. Also, remember to turn off the sprinkler system.

4. Change Your Furnace Filter

Changing your furnace filter is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your furnace in good shape. If you haven't changed it in a while, make sure you have a fresh one before your turn your furnace on for the first time.

5. Put away the Patio Furniture

Remove patio furniture and keep them away in a garage or other enclosed space for the winter. These include hammocks, umbrellas, cushions, and others. You can also protect them using weather-proof covers.

6. Get Your Property Ready for Snow

Before the snow flies and you start using your snowblower, take a few minutes to inspect your property. Remove rocks, dog tie-out cable, extension cords, holiday light cords and garden hoses. Then stake out paths that run near gardens so you don't accidentally suck up rocks and garden edging. Mark your walk and driveway perimeters by pounding in driveway markers. 

7. Winterize Your Gas Grill

If you're not a winter griller, now's the time to pack away your grill before it's covered with a foot of snow. Clean grill grates with a wire brush, empty the grease tray, wipe off grease and other debris on the exterior, and store grill in a dry area or protect using a grill cover. 

8. Check Attic Ventilation and Insulation

Ensure your attic is well-insulated to save on energy costs. Check the attic door for gaps that leak warm air into the attic and predispose your roof to ice dams and other winter damage.

Check attic vents to ensure they are free of debris and are providing adequate ventilation. Proper ventilation will prolong the life of your roof.

9. Winterize your Air Conditioner

Disconnect the air conditioning unit from power to prevent it from powering up during the winter months and getting damaged. If you want to save yourself clean-up time in spring, clean out all debris now and put a protective cover over the AC to prevent damage from snow and ice. A sheet of plywood also works.

For window units, you can remove them completely, or cover to prevent drafts.

10. Feed and Maintain your Lawn

The grass on your lawn start to store food for the winter as temperatures drop, so you should be fertilizing once or twice in fall to ensure your lawn greens up faster in spring.

Rake tree leaves to prevent them from killing off your lawn and/or encouraging disease spread. You can also choose to mulch the leaves using a mower. Overseed the lawn if required, aerate, and mow one last time, leaving about 3” before the first snowfall.

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