Home maintenance updates to prepare your home for the fall
The last weeks of summer are here and fall is right around the corner. When the seasons change, there are a number of things homeowners can do to prepare their home for the changing weather. The following are six ways to prepare your home for the fall.
- Clean and stow the mower
Mowers, weed whackers, hedge trimmers, and other appliances that run on gasoline need some special maintenance at the end of the summer. Fuel stabilizer is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent gas from degrading; simply top off the tank with stabilized fuel before storing the mower away for the winter, running it for a few minutes first to ensure the stabilizer fully reaches the carburetor.
- Remove hoses from faucets
Leaving hoses attached to exterior faucets can cause water to back up from the hose into the faucet and plumbing pipes. Even if temperatures don’t frequently dip below freezing, this can help protect the seal between the hose and the faucet as well as the faucet and plumbing itself. Likewise, turning off the valves that supply exterior faucets can help prevent any leaks during the fall and winter.
- Drain the sprinkler system
Homeowners can drain the sprinkler system themselves or hire a landscaping professional to do it for them. To drain the irrigation system yourself, begin by turning off the water at the main valve; next, shut off the automatic controller, open the drain valves to drain any remaining water for the systems, and shake water from any above-ground sprinkler heads. Don’t want to try it on your own? An irrigation pro can clear out the system using compressed air for around $100.
- Seal any air leaks
Head to the home improvement store for a few containers of color-matching exterior caulk. Walking around the exterior of your home, look for any gaps between the trim and siding, around windows and doors, or at points where pipes or wires enter the home. This keeps conditioned air from escaping to the outside – as well as preventing moisture from getting in.
- Clean out the gutters
In mild climates, clogged gutters can cause drainage issues; in areas where it regularly freezes in the winter, clogs can cause ice dams and other issues. Get ready for winter by removing any leaves, twigs, and other debris for the gutters. Check for any loose gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Likewise, ensure all downspouts extend at least five feet away from the foundation to prevent foundation problems.
- Have the chimney swept
If your home has a fireplace, the end of summer if a great time to have the chimney swept. An annual chimney sweeping removes any soot, ash, or debris from the chimney as well as ensures all fireplace components are in good working condition. Try to schedule earlier in the season to avoid long waits for appointment times.