As the weather starts to get cooler and the leaves begin to change, it’s important to take steps to prepare your home for fall. While breaking out the fall decor and warmer clothes is a good start, there are also some maintenance items to add to your list so that your home is ready for colder temperatures.
Clean the Gutters to Prepare Your Home for Fall
If your gutters become clogged with leaves, they can overflow and damage the exterior of your home or cause flooding inside. Check and clean the gutters before the leaves fall to make sure they are working properly. If the gutters are old and showing signs of wear, you may want to replace them.
Drain Outdoor Water Sources
Before freezing temperatures arrive, turn off and drain all outdoor water sources. Once you shut off the water, drain and disconnect any hoses. Failure to do this can cause burst pipes and damage to outdoor faucets.
Prepare Your Home for Fall by Boosting the Insulation
Locating and fixing drafts is important to heat your home more efficiently. The heat that escapes through windows can cause energy use to rise by 10 to 20 percent. If you notice that cool air is seeping in through cracks in your windows and doors, replace or add weatherstripping.
Check the insulation in your attic to make sure it’s still in good condition. After many years, insulation can lose its loft and be less effective in helping your home maintain a comfortable temperature. Look for areas of missing or damaged insulation and replace it before temperatures drop.
Store Outdoor Furniture Inside
Patio furniture won’t last as long when you leave it to weather outdoors all winter. Bring your patio furniture inside. If you have a garage or shed to store the furniture, put it away once summer is over. If you don’t have storage space, invest in waterproof covers to protect your furniture.
Replace and Clean Filters
Before colder temperatures arrive, prepare your home for fall by checking the filters in the HVAC system. If these filters are clogged or dirty, the system will work extra hard to keep your home at a set temperature. Be sure to clean or replace the filter monthly to keep your system operating efficiently.
Fertilize the Grass
To help your lawn look green and healthy in the summer, it’s best to prep it ahead of the fall and winter weather. Even though your grass does not grow in colder temperatures, its roots are still alive. Fertilizing can prevent damage during the winter and help the lawn grow back stronger and greener in the spring.
Seal Driveway Cracks to Prepare Your Home for Fall
During the winter, water can seep into your driveway cracks and freeze. As it freezes, the water expands and the crack will deepen. With time, the concrete around the crack starts crumbling. It’s best to take preventative steps and seal cracks in your driveway before winter.
Check Batteries in Your Safety Devices
Routinely check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Making sure these devices are working is essential to maintaining a safe home. Test the batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
Test Winter Maintenance Equipment
If you have a snowblower or a snowplow, check them now. It’s much easier to purchase new equipment or make repairs in the fall instead of during a snowstorm when you can’t make it to a repair shop.
Preparing your home for fall can seem like a big undertaking, but following these steps will get your home ready for whatever the colder months bring.