The crisp air, the falling leaves, the the pumpkin spice everything... Fall is in the air! And while you are enjoying this amazing time of year you should also be taking this time to do some much needed routine home maintenance. We have nine things you should do before the first frost, and luckily, many are easy DIY projects.
1. Check windows and doors for air leaks.
Anyone in a cold climate knows the pain of opening the gas bill in the dead of winter. Keep the cold air out and the utility bills in check by checking all your windows and doors for air leaks. If your issues are minor some low-cost DIY solutions like caulk, weather-stripping, and foam sealant are options to fixing your leaks. Call in the pros if you have major gaps or want the peace of mind that leaks are sealed properly.
2. Clean the chimney.
If you have a fireplace, fall is a great time to give it a thorough cleaning and inspection. Maintaining a clean fireplace is the easiest way to remove buildup of creosote. Eliminating creosote reduces the risk of fire. You can do this on your own if you have been maintaining your chimney yearly, if not, an expert is recommended to do a thorough cleaning.
3. Clean the gutters.
Throughout the summer and fall your gutters fill up with leaves and debris. Failing to clean this from your gutters can mean rain and melting snow won't drain easily potentially causing leaks into your house. You can do this easily on your own with a ladder, bucket, gutter scoop and gloves if you are comfortable with the height. After clearing, run water from the hose to make sure gutters are functioning properly. Call the pros if you're not big on heights.
4. Schedule a furnace check-up.
Don't wait until the first freezing day to turn on your furnace. It's good to know about any issues before the temperatures get too cold. Listen for booming, clicking, squealing or any strange noises. If you notice anything unusual, call an HVAC professional. Make sure you are changing your filter regularly and vacuuming the dust and debris around the furnace to keep it operating like new. Scheduling a furnace tune-up is a good idea either way. HVAC professionals can inspect the ducts, adjust the pilot light, lubricate bearings, and inspect fan belts and pulleys.
5. Test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.
They're easy to forget about unless you burn the toast, that's why we designate this time of year as a good checking point. Simply press and hold the 'Test' button for a few seconds on each detector. If they are working properly you should hear a loud ring or beep. If they sound weak or there is no sound at all, its time to replace the batteries and test again. Most detectors need to be replaced at least every 10 years.
6. Run ceiling fans in reverse.
With the hot and humid days in the rear-view mirror, its a good time to start reversing the direction of your ceiling fans. Reversing can actually help make your space warmer by circulating warm air near your ceiling back down into your living space. Make sure the fan is off then use a ladder or stool to reach and flip the switch typically found on the side of the fan motor to change the fan direction,
7. Winterize your irrigation system.
This process clears whatever leftover water from your pipes is cleared out helping preventing damage from freezing water. This is not typically a DIY project, however if you are handy and have the right equipment (air compressor) its possible to do it on your own. Where temperatures dip below freezing, professionals typically charge between $70-150 to winterize a sprinkler system.
8. Disconnect and empty your garden hoses.
A frozen hose can cause water inside the wall to freeze and burst. Don't let this happen to you! Simply disconnect your hose, unravel, and let it drain at an angle. When its empty coil it and put it away for the season.
9. Fertilize and reseed your lawn.
Although it may seem grass dies off this time of year, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed if necessary. You can do this on your own by following the product label for fertilizer for your grass type. Reseeding is perfect for fall because warm soil temps and cooler are temps are great for sowing seed. Just don't wait too late or your seed won't establish by the time the temperatures drop.
Now get to it! Enjoy the outdoors and prep for the colder season knowing you'll be all set when the snow starts falling.
This post includes some shared information from Realtor.com