Fall is here, folks! Well, technically, it’s still some weeks away, and as we continue to revel under the summer sun for as long as we can, September is upon us, and it is only a matter of time before you feel that nip in the air.
For homeowners, now is the perfect time for routine home maintenance. Fall is the ‘calm’ before the storm, quite literally, so put those balmy autumn days to good use and cross off this fall maintenance checklist!
Outdoor Fall Maintenance Checklist for New England Homeowners
Maintain your lawn and beds
Continue to water your lawns and grass beds. Although the growth has slowed down, fall watering is vital to help your lawn recover from the dry season and survive the winter. Gather and mulch leaves to add organic matter to grass beds, and if you apply fertilizer, again, you want to water the lawn well. Aerating the soil will relieve compaction and help the roots to thrive through winter.
Tend to your trees and shrubs; cutting the dead off your trees prevents falling branches, limits damage during heavy winds and rain, and also helps preserve trees through the cold.
Store Away Summer Garden Tools
Wheelbarrow, rakes, mowers; all go into storage for the offseason. If you have a gas-powered mower, run the tank dry before storing it. Lubricating the pistons will ensure an easy start-up later in spring.
Drain, Shut Faucets and Sprinklers
Underground irrigation systems can burst in freezing temps, so shut down the water supply to your primary sprinkler system, switch off any automatic controls, and open the drain valves to expel leftover water. Or call in a professional to blow out the pipes with compressed air.
Clear Gutters and Downspouts
Once the leaves have fallen, clear out gutters and downspouts so that rainwater flows freely and doesn’t end up damaging your siding and roof, or worse, turning into ice and causing extensive harm to your house.
Flush gutters, inspect joints and tighten loose brackets. Consider adding extensions for short downspout pipes.
Check Exteriors for Worn Out Paint
Damaged exterior paint cannot protect your siding any longer. Address peeling or blistering paint before the weather gets too wet.
Stock Up on Winter Supplies
Inspect your snow shovels and ice scrapers, and have your snowblower serviced. Store additional fuel in case of an emergency, and if needed, get a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt.
Indoor Maintenance Items
Check the Dryer Vents, Furnace, and Chimney
Your furnace takes a lot of load during the winter months to keep your home cozy. Therefore, routine maintenance can make your system more energy-efficient and spot minor faults before turning into significant troubles.
If you have a working chimney, make sure it is clear of blockages and that the glass door is free of cracks. Better yet, have it professionally inspected and cleaned before you use it this season. Finally, stock up on the required amounts of firewood by early fall and store it safely in your outdoor shed.
Built-up lint in dryer vents can reduce dryer efficiency and even cause a fire. Please clean it up!
Inspect Drafty Windows, Attic, and Insulate Doors
Notice any drafty spots in and around your home? Plug the leaks and fill the cracks. While looking for drafts, make sure the weatherstripping around doors and window frames is intact. Next, remove the screens from windows and doors and install storm windows. If your windows are old and drafty, consider replacing them.
No fall maintenance routine is complete without an attic insulation examination. Get a professional to inspect and repair the roof for damage, missing shingles, and leaks.
Check Your Safety Devices
Replace the batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and have extra batteries on hand. Also, check the expiration date of your fire extinguisher.
At Perry Brothers Construction, we can help you with windows, doors, roof repairs or other home renovation needs to help you get ready for fall and winter. Call us today to learn more!