Autumn has arrived! It's time for cozy sweaters, thick socks, and a mug of something warm! For many, this is their favourite time of the year and why not?! The changing leaves are stunning and the temps tend to be a little more comfortable (at least for a while!) It's also a great time to prepare your greatest investment for what can be some gruelling weather conditions for your home. Take advantage of the milder temps and follow these monthly tips.
Check Exterior Finishes: take a look at your roof shingles, flashing, and vents. Check the sealing around windows and doors, sealing any cracks. Check and seal any gaps on exterior walls that can be used by critters to invade your home. Spray foam comes in handy for larger gaps. Inspect your fireplace and chimney for blockages and make sure the damper is working. Have a look at your dryer vent and give that a clean to prevent fires.
Clean the Eavestrough! Make sure you are clearing the ways for water to move away from the house, directing draining, and eliminating the opportunity of backlog which can cause some icy conditions in the winter. (If you are wary of heights, hire a professional to get the job done).
Prep the Lawn: Rake tree leaves to prevent them from killing off your lawn and/or encouraging disease spread. You can also choose to mulch the leaves using a mower. Overseed the lawn if required, aerate, and mow one last time, leaving about 3” before the first snowfall.
Got a Pool? It's Time to Winterize it: remove debris and partly drain out the water. Use a winter treatment kit and a pool cover to keep out debris.
Get Caulking! Drafty windows and doors can increase your annual heating and cooling bill by up to 30%. Replace worn weatherstripping, caulk gaps around windows, door frames, exterior pipes, and faucets.
Store Your Patio Furniture: Put them in the garage, basement, shed, or under covers to protect them from harsh weather conditions.
Stow your mower Home tools and equipment should be checked before storing them away for the winter. If they are gas-powered, either drain the gas (fuel) or add a fuel stabilizer to ensure that old fuel does not degrade and make your equipment difficult to start in spring. If you use a stabilizer, run the equipment for a few minutes to ensure the stabilizer gets to the carburetor.
Prepare Your Deck: your deck is going to be covered in snow and ice for a few months during winter. Fall is a good time to give your deck a good wash and get rid of debris and mould. Repair any rotted boards, and depending on the condition, fall is great for staining or sealing your deck.
Store Hoses and Turn off Outdoor Water: Garden hoses should be removed from outdoor faucets, drained of water and stored away indoors, such as in a garage. When garden hoses are not disconnected, the water in them can freeze and expand resulting in burst hoses and/or cracked pipes. If your outdoor faucets have shut-off valves located on the inside of your home, turn them off.
Protect Your Garden: Many plants do not like being pruned until Spring so follow the directions according to your plants. Make sure you are still watering your plants but stop fertilizing them six weeks before the first fall frost. Winter mulch can be very helpful and use burlap to protect young branches from heavy snowfall.
Get Your Furnace Serviced: You do not want to wait until temperatures drop before ensuring that your furnace is working efficiently. Replace the filter and if the furnace has not been serviced in the last year, hire a professional to conduct a full tune-up.
Test the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Doing this around Daylight Savings Time help remind you to test these very important lifesavers! Change batteries if necessary.
Prepare Your Snowblower! Service your snow blower and ensure it is ready to go when the first snowfall arrives. You may need to replace the spark plug and top the engine oil. You will also need snow shovels, ice melt, salt, mitts, toque, and other cold-weather essentials.
Winterize Your Air Conditioner: Disconnect the air conditioning unit from power to prevent it from powering up during the winter months and getting damaged. If you want to save yourself clean-up time in spring, clean out all debris now and put a protective cover over the AC to prevent damage from snow and ice if necessary. A sheet of plywood also works. For window units, you can remove them completely, or cover to prevent drafts.
Cuddle: keep warm and appreciate the loved ones your lovely home protects. :)
A Fall Checklist of 10 Things You Gotta Do Before Winter Sets In <https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/fall-checklist/>
Fall and Winter Home Maintenance Checklist <https://www.savvynewcanadians.com/fall-and-winter-home-maintenance-checklist/>
Fall Home Maintenance Checklist