I admit I’m not a huge fan of fall. It means back-to-school, shorter days, increased traffic, cooler temperatures and getting back into a routine after a summer of lazy, hazy days. While I’m a self-confessed organization freak, I enjoyed letting those schedules go for a while. But I know there’s a reason for every season. So, as your family embraces fall (or tries to!) and adjusts to its faster pace, make time to ensure your home is safe, secure and ready for cooler temperatures with these 12 home maintenance tips.
Outside the Home
- Feeling a draft? There’s a nip in the air, and you don’t want that chill to come inside. Seal around windows and doors with spray foam, caulking or weather stripping to keep the cool air out. Not only will you feel more comfortable, you’ll save money on your energy bills.
- Get your mind in the gutter. Leaves don’t just collect on lawns. They also fill your eavestroughs and downspouts, so clean them out to let water drain properly. Using a ladder? Practice ladder safety or hire a professional.
- Put your air conditioner to bed. Ask a professional to properly power down your central air conditioner unit. Fully covering your air conditioner may trap moisture, so ask if a short cover that just covers the top is right for your unit to prevent leaves and debris from getting trapped inside.
- Get on top of roof issues. Hire a professional to check your roof for signs of loose or missing shingles and other damage, especially after extreme weather conditions. Unchecked roof damage could lead to water infiltration.
- Turn off outside faucets. These pipes are susceptible to freezing, so close shut-off valves for all outside faucets, and then turn on the outside faucets to let them drain properly.
- Rake and shake. Piles of leaves can provide entertainment for little ones to jump in, but don’t keep them around too long. Leaves can kill your grass if left on the ground for an extended period. Rake them, bag them, and take them to the curb for pick up to keep your soil healthy, or mulch them with a mower and shake them over your garden to improve soil fertility.
- Stow your tools and toys. Put away the lawn mower. Wipe gardening tools down and store them in a shed or garage. Also store patio furniture and children’s toys to protect them from the elements.
- Store firewood safely. Dry firewood should be stacked at least four to five metres away from your home.
Inside the Home
- Check and detect. Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and replace the batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Did someone say the ‘f’ word? As cooler temperatures arrive, you’ll want to have your furnace serviced and the filter changed to make sure everything is running efficiently.
- Practise safe kindling. Clear out ash and charred wood from the fireplace. While enjoying a fire, keep a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to help prevent sparks from flying. Also, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional.
- Move on up. Check your attic (or hire a professional) to make sure insulation is properly installed to prevent heat from escaping.
Do you take the time to prepare your house for fall? Any tips we missed? Let us know in the comments below.