Pumpkin spice is in the air, and you know what that means: Fall is here. Before you cozy up in front of the fireplace, take time to prepare your home for the season, just like you prepared for summer. The sooner you get started on your fall home maintenance, the easier it will be to cope with those early season cold spells that can wreak havoc on your home.
Why Is It Important to Prepare My Home for Fall?
Fall home maintenance is more than just raking leaves. Some autumn chores can help with energy efficiency and cost savings as the winter heating bills roll in. Others will protect your home from ice and snow damage, and some will help make spring a breeze, when it’s time to pull out the mower again.
7 Ways to Foolproof Your Home for Fall
Ready to roll up your flannel and get to work? Run through this fall checklist for seven ways to prep your home for the season ahead.
Schedule a Heating System Checkup
Call an HVAC technician to service your heating system. They should inspect the unit to ensure it is properly pumping out heat, look for leaks, and change air filters. This keeps your home safe from potential fire hazards and prevents dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. Routine servicing also makes your unit more efficient and helps you save on heating costs throughout the colder months.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and grime. Water should flow freely through the gutters to prevent any buildup, which could lead to ice dams. Ice dams prevent melting snow from draining off the roof—and can result in serious damages and costly repairs.
Prepare with Plumbing Prep
Insulate your pipes where possible to suppress prolonged exposure to freezing conditions. Remove water hoses from faucets outside to prevent a cracked pipe or faucet. And before the weather turns cold, don’t forget to drain sprinkler systems as much as possible to avoid burst pipes underground.
Clear Your Attic Ventilation
Check the insulation in the attic to make sure it is properly installed and not covering vents that could lead to more ice dams. Clear vents of any debris, such as plant growth and bird nests. Inspect the attic for rodent droppings and get rid of any unwanted houseguests to prevent a bigger issue mid-winter.
Tend Your Yard and Landscaping
Prune trees to handle hefty snow-laden branches while encouraging healthy growth in spring. Look for tree branches that could threaten power lines and have these limbs removed. Now is also the time to fertilize or reseed your yard. Fun fact: Grass roots strengthen throughout the fall before going dormant in the winter.
Store Your Lawn Mower
You won’t need to cut the grass during the winter (woohoo!), so prepare your mower for hibernation. Clean the spark plug, then add engine oil and gasoline stabilizer to the mower so it’s ready for use come spring. Clean any grass and dirt off the blades to avoid deterioration.
Seal Errant Air Leaks
Don’t let cold air seep into your home (or heat leak out) through windows, pipe access points, and doorways. Seal around windows and pipes to make sure they are airtight. Replace worn weatherstripping to keep those drafts from knocking on your doors.
Getting your home ready for autumn isn’t hard. But even if you do everything by the book, you might not be able to avoid an inconvenient insurance claim. If you are displaced and need temporary housing, check out Brook for the furnishings that remind you of home.