The leaves are starting to turn shades of red and gold and orange and will soon find their way to the earth. The temperatures are cooling and there is a certain crispness in the evening air.
Fall has arrived … and while home maintenance may not be at the top of your To Do List this October, it makes sense to spend a little bit of time this month to get your home ready for winter. Here, then, is a checklist of things you should be thinking about. It’s certainly not all-inclusive, but should at least give you some things to think about:
On the outside
1. Touch up any exterior paint that’s become chipped, damaged, or faded.
2. Check your windows and doors for drafts. Caulk any gaps to prevent air from coming into your home.
3. Remove, clean filters, repair fins and store window air conditioners. If you have central air condition, check the condition of the compressor outside. Be sure to remove any leaves, grass or other debris that may have collected around the unit.
4. Check your roof and gutters and if make repairs.
5. Patio furniture will last longer and look better longer if not exposed to winter conditions. If you don’t have a place to store your outdoorfurniture, invest in covers to protect it.
6. Unless you plan to grill out over the winter months, clean up the grill and put it away, too.
7. Disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets and store them. If you can, turn off water to the faucets and drain them. If you don’t have a shutoff, consider protecting them from freezing with insulating covers.
8. If you have a fireplace, get it cleaned and checked. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to get your firewood. Keep it covered … but don’t store it close to your home. Firewood can be a perfect place for termites, snakes, and rodents to winter over.
9. Sprinkler/irrigation systems should be drained and checked.
10. Bring in any pottery or flower pots from the outside. The cold/warm cycle can cause these to shatter.
11. Now’s the time to plant bulbs for next spring. It’s also a good time to plant and trim trees.
12. Rake up those leaves!
In the garage
1. Empty fuel and clean the lawnmower and trimmers. If your outdoor power equipment needs repair, now’s a great time.
2. If you’re likely to need it over the winter, service your chainsaw.
3. Get your car ready for cooler weather: You may need a winter-rated windshield washer solution. Put an emergency blanket (or two) in the car. Check flashlights. Get a tune-up if needed.
4. Have an emergency generator? Test it now and make sure it’s working
properly. Stock up on the proper fuel for it.
5. Dig out the snow shovels, snow blowers, sidewalk treatments and other items you might need if it snows.
6. If you don’t have a few extra gallons of gas, invest in them now.
In the house
1. Have the furnace inspected. Change out the furnace filter.
2. Check your smoke and CO2 detector batteries and replace them.
3. Do you have a fire extinguisher? If so, check to make sure it’s fully charged
and you know where it is. If not, consider purchasing an extinguisher.
4. Conduct a fire drill with your family.
5. Launder outerwear (or take it to the cleaners). Find your hats, gloves, boots and scarves. Donate any items you’re not likely to use this season.
6. Clean out your freezer(s), refrigerator and cabinets so when it’s time to shop for that big Thanksgiving meal, you’ve got sufficient storage space!
Above all, spend some time outdoors, enjoying the beauty of the Fall season. Remember, spring is a long six months away!
Melia Realty Group