Fall Maintenance

Fall Maintenance

Taking care of your home during the fall is crucial for both its appearance and functionality. The specific steps for fall preparation may vary based on your location. It’s important to make sure that both the inside and outside of your home are prepared for fall maintenance.

Care for trees and shrubs.

If you have trees on your property, consider hiring an arborist to care for them — these pros can spot signs of poor health early on to prevent tree loss, and know how to prune properly to avoid falling limbs in winter storms. Also make sure to hire lawn services to rake the leaves and a cleaning company for your inside preparations.

Rake leaves.

Leaves look beautiful blanketing the ground, but leaving too many leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth. To make the job easier, choose a lightweight rake, wear gloves to protect your hands and use handheld “leaf scoops” to bag leaves quickly.

Gauy cleaning gutters during the fall

Clean gutters and downspouts.

Most importantly, once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.

Insulate windows

Bone-chilling drafts seriously detract from the cozy vibe you want. Keep it cozy by hanging drapes as close to your windows as possible to help you keep the heat inside.

Finally, you can even add clear Velcro strips or dots to the back of the drape and attach to fasteners on the wall to help insulate. Be sure to cross one drape over the other when you close up for the night. Insulating shades can do the trick, too. As a result you will also spend less money on your electric bill.

Fall maintenance list

1. Have the water heater, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) and gas fireplaces professionally inspected.

2. Replace the furnace filters

3. Check to make sure fire extinguishers are pressurized

4. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords throughout the house

5. Check and replenish first-aid and disaster kits

6. Replace the batteries in all carbon-monoxide detectors and smoke alarms

7. Have septic tank serviced

If snow is a given where you live and you’re lacking supplies, take advantage of seasonal sales now to make sure you’re not the one rushing to the hardware store at the last minute — only to find out they just sold out of ice melt.

If you have a snow blower, be sure to have it serviced and fueled up before the first winter storm arrives — and with it, price hikes on all the snow stuff.

The last thing you need is a winter storm loosing the wrath of that mighty tree whose branches are angling over your roof. Long limbs invite pests to explore your roof for excess water to seep into cracks in the roof or siding.

Keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from the house. Plus it’s easier to trim branches after leaves have fallen. (If it’s an evergreen, well, sorry about that. It’ll be a prickly job, but the bonus is you’ll have greenery for the holidays!)