Fall Maintenance Chores

The thermometer may be telling us it’s still summer but the calendar tells us a different tale. I know it’s hard to think (at least for me) of snowy days and being trapped indoors but that weather will be upon us before we know it. Now is a great time to start your fall home maintenance chores because you won’t get frostbite or have to shovel to get to things that are outside. And getting a jump on indoor chores will help you from getting exhausted right before the holidays.

Here are some things you can do while the weather is still warm:

 

fall-maintenance

  • Touch up paint on trim, decks, and railings. Be sure to prime wood before painting. A wire brush is an easy way to remove flaking paint.
  • Schedule fall inspections for your furnace now. The waiting list for inspections will get much longer once there is a real chill in the air.
  • Have your fireplace inspected and the chimney cleaned.
  • Have you central air conditioning unit winterized.
  • Defrost your deep freezer if it isn’t a self-defrosting model.
  • Schedule a professional carpet cleaner. Companies get much busier in the cooler weather and by late October it may be nearly impossible to set a date that works for you. Some companies have sales at this time of year so you can save money and go into the holiday season with clean carpets.
  • Inspect the dryer vent and exhaust tube. Clean out any built up lint and debris. Make sure the vent closes tightly when not being used.
  • Inspect and, if necessary, replace your washer hoses. Look for bulges, cracks, or small splits. Replace these hoses every other year to prevent a disaster!
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Debris in the gutters will make it easier for ice dams to form which can cause damage. You can easily make a gutter cleaner with an empty plastic two liter bottle. Just cut off the bottom of the bottle then cut one side of the bottle to form a scoop shape.

gutter-scoop-1

gutter-scoop-2

I hope you can see the “scoop” shape of the bottle. Leave the cap on the bottle when you use the scoop. And the heavier the plastic, the better the scoop.

  • Wash interior and exterior windows. You’ll want to get all the sunlight you can during those dark winter months.
  • Check caulk around windows and doors and touch up the areas that need it.
  • Inspect weather stripping around doors and replace as needed. Don’t forget the garage door if you have an attached garage!
  • Drain and store garden hoses and sprinklers.
  • Turn off water to outside spigots. You may even want to install insulating covers on outside spigots.
  • If you have a sprinkler system you should have it blown free of water.
  • Drain the hot water heater and clean out sediment.
  • Clean or replace humidifier elements before you need to turn on the furnace.
  • Change the furnace filter once a month. Your furnace will run more efficiently saving you money and ensuring maximum comfort. Save yourself a trip to the hardware store in winter by purchasing a season’s worth of filters now.
  • Clean and store patio furniture, children’s summer toys, and umbrellas before the weather gets nasty. You’ll be less likely to leave things out if you can do the cleaning while it’s still nice outside.
  • Do one last weeding/clearing of your vegetable and flower gardens. This will make things easier in the spring.
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