It would be amazing if all you needed to prep your home for fall was hang a wreath and light a bunch of pumpkin spice candles. While yes, those are a crucial part of getting ready for the change of seasons, there are more important (and not exactly fun) preparations that come with being a homeowner. Consider this everything you need to know before your house transitions from hot summer days to cool fall nights…and eventually freezing temperatures. Here you have some Tips to get your home ready for fall.
1. Clean your gutters.
Your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls, so it’s vital to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, clean your gutters, then cover them with mesh gutter guards to keep debris from returning. If you want more Tips to get your home ready for fall keep see bellow. Here is a guide of how to clean your gutters properly.
2. Check for drafts.
Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because weatherstripping is simple and probably the most cost-effective way to keep heating costs down.
Tip: To check if you have a draft issue, close a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, you need to update your weatherstripping.
If you want more Tips to get your home ready for fall keep see bellow.
3. Inspect your roof.
Few homeowner problems are more vexing than a leaky roof. Once the dripping starts, finding the source of the problem can be time-consuming. Stop problems this fall before ice and winter winds turn them from annoyances into disasters.
Start by inspecting your roof from top to bottom, using binoculars if necessary. Check ridge shingles for cracks and wind damage. Look for damage to metal flashing in valleys and around vents and chimneys. Scan the entire roof for missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Look in your gutters for large accumulations of granules, a sign that your roof is losing its coating, which can portend larger problems. Finally, make sure your gutters are flowing freely.
Tip: Roof-mounted television antennas, even if they aren’t in use, may have guy wires holding them in place. Look for loose or missing guy wires. If you see some, and your antenna is no longer being used, consider having it removed altogether. If you want more Tips to get your home ready for fall keep see bellow.
4. Protect faucets from freezing temperatures.
If you live in an area with freezing weather, take steps to ensure that outside faucets (also called sill cocks) and in-ground irrigation systems don’t freeze and burst. First, close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. (There may be a small cap on the faucet you can loosen to facilitate this draining.) If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freeze-proof ” types, you might benefit from styrofoam faucet covers, which are sold at many home centers.
To freezeproof an in-ground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer’s procedure for draining it and protecting it from winter damage. If you want more Tips to get your home ready for fall keep see bellow.
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5. Put your air conditioning unit to rest
Removable A/C window units should be removed and properly stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions before winter in order to protect the unit and help keep cooler outside air from getting inside.
Whole home A/C units should be powered down from the breaker in your main electrical panel. If you have a safety shut-off switch located outside by the A/C unit that should be turned off as well.
There is much debate over whether you should completely cover a whole home A/C unit for the winter. A cover that goes all the way down to the bottom can trap moisture inside the unit as well as invite critters to nest. A better option is a short cover, which protects the unit from debris and leaves getting inside the top while letting the unit “breathe” (a piece of plywood cut to size on top of the unit works well, too).
6. Clean and inspect your furnace
Even if it was pumping out air conditioning to keep you cool, most people neglect their furnace during the summer months. Now that you’re about to turn the heat back on and spend most of your time breathing the air it pushes around, it’s recommended you do some general maintenance to keep it running in top form.
The first thing you should do before kicking on the heat is to clean or replace your furnace filter. This not only helps the quality of your inside air, but also keeps your furnace running more efficient (and the more efficient your furnace runs the less money you waste heating your home).
If you have a permanent filter, follow the directions on how to clean it and only use the recommended cleaning solutions (you breathe the air that passes through the filter so cleaning it with harsh chemicals will only contaminate the air and could be potentially dangerous, especially if the cleaning solution is flammable).
7. Ready your fireplace.
Even if you use your fireplace only occasionally, you should check it annually for damage and hazards. First, inspect the flue for creosote, a flammable by-product of burning wood. Too much accumulation in a flue or chimney can result in a devastating fire. Get your chimney inspected annually for creosote buildup. If you use a fireplace or wood stove frequently, have the flue inspected after each cord of wood burned.
For most people, the best option is to have your entire chimney system inspected by a chimney sweep. Once you know what to look for, you can perform the inspection by shining a bright flashlight up the flue, looking for any deposits approaching 1/8 inch thick. These deposits should be cleaned by an experienced chimney professional.
Additionally, check your chimney for damage or flue blockages. Ensure the flue cap (the screen or baffle covering the top of the chimney) is in place. Birds often nest at the top of unprotected flues; a chimney cap can prevent this from happening. If you don’t have a cap, look up the flue to ensure that there are no obstructions. Inspect brick chimneys for loose or broken joints. If access is a problem, use binoculars. Inside, exercise the damper, which is the metal plate that opens and closes the flue just above the firebox. Move it to the open and closed positions to ensure that it is working properly.
8. Keep the humidifier humming.
Dry winter air can be tough on your skin and airways, but did you know it can also make fine wood more prone to cracking? You and your home will feel more comfortable if you keep your central humidifier in tip-top shape during the months it is running. First, inspect the plates or pads and if necessary, clean them in a strong laundry detergent solution. Rinse and scrape off mineral deposits with a wire brush or steel wool.
9. Mulch or fertilize your lawn.
As fall approaches, you won’t need to mow and maintain your lawn as often as in the summer and spring months. So before fall and winter start, mulch or fertilize your lawn.
Mulch leaves and grass clippings into your lawn as you mow. This creates a rich environment for the microorganisms deep in your soil. This keeps the soil and your lawn in good condition creating deep thick green lawn all year round.
10. Repair walkways.
Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year-round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing issues in the fall is also critical to preventing little cracks from becoming expensive headaches. Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths. Most small jobs are well within the ability of a DIYer, but save major repairs for experienced hands.