HOUSE TO HOME

4 min read

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Sep 2022

6 Things to Add to Your Fall Maintenance Checklist

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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Why fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn

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How to “freeze proof” your outdoor faucets

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Outdoor cosmetic touchups that’ll help this season

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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Why fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn

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How to “freeze proof” your outdoor faucets

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Outdoor cosmetic touchups that’ll help this season

Fall is here! And with the season change comes the possibility of strong winds, heavy rain, and a significant drop in temperature from the last few months. Sure, we all love hayrides with the family and a nice warm pumpkin spice latte on a brisk autumn day, but nobody is a fan of the harsh weather and the effects it can have on your home if you’re not prepared.

You’ve probably already taken the necessary precautions to get your home ready for fall earlier this summer, but now is the perfect time to add a few more important tasks to your fall maintenance checklist. Keep your place in tip-top shape for the rest of the season by performing these additional precautions.

Inspect Your Detectors

You’ll likely be spending a lot more time indoors for the rest of the year, so you’ll want to make sure your home is as safe and hazard-proof as possible. Now is a great time to run a check on your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.

Most smoke and CO detectors have a test button located somewhere on the inside of the unit, so carefully climb your ladder, open your unit, and locate and press the test button for just a few seconds. In some cases, the test button can be found on the outside of the unit. If your detector is functioning properly, you should hear a loud and distinct ringing sound after holding the button. If you don’t hear anything or the sound is too faint when you’re in another room, it’s time to replace your detector’s battery.

Generally, smoke detectors have a lifespan of around 10 years, while CO detectors last for about six. During your inspection, look for a date written on the back of your unit’s outside cover. That’s the date you must replace your detector on or before. If your detectors are working and the expiration dates aren’t nearing, you’re all set!

Test your detectors away from any people or pets who may be startled by the noise.

Water and Fertilize Your Lawn

Just like the summer months, your lawn still needs to be watered in the fall. The grass may not be growing at the same rate, but watering your lawn every so often will rejuvenate your grass from its hours upon hours in the hot sun and give it the necessary strength to take on the rest of the year.

And before you run your sprinklers, it’s not a bad idea to fertilize your lawn, trees, and shrubs, too. Putting down fertilizer will nourish your lawn and help it continue to grow and feed on energy stored in the roots as temperatures drop. So, don’t put away your hose and turn off your outdoor faucets quite yet. Speaking of...

Protect Outdoor Faucets from Freezing

After watering your lawn for the last time this season, it’s time to shut off all exterior faucets and put away your hoses until the springtime. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are common this time of year, protect your home’s pipes by turning off any valves serving your outdoor faucets and draining your faucets and hoses before the water stored inside has time to freeze. You’ll thank yourself later for avoiding any unnecessary property damage thanks to some tiny water buildup.

Clean and Straighten Your Gutters

Most experts suggest cleaning out your gutters at least twice every year, so, if you haven’t done so for some time, why not make a point to climb up to your roof and do a little unclogging this fall? If you don’t want to use your hands (protected by a pair of gloves, of course), try using an old spatula or plastic pet scooper to clean out the piled-up debris.

And while you’re up there, make sure to get a close look at your gutter’s alignment. A bent gutter can be the result of debris buildup or inadequate support from your roof. If you notice a bend in your gutter, it may be best to consult an expert. They’ll determine whether a simple repair or purchasing entirely new gutters are right for your situation.

Lastly, remember to clean out your gutter spouts at the base of your home as well. A plumbing or drain snake will easily do the trick so you don’t have to get your hands dirty!

Repair Cracks in Your Walkways

Cracks in your walkway, sidewalk, driveway, or steps can be dangerous at any time of the year, but they’re especially risky during the fall and winter months. If water freezes in between the gaps, you’re welcoming the possibility of slipping and hurting yourself. Plus, paying to repair the expanded cracks is now even more of a hassle. Nip the problem in the bud by closing minor damages to your walkways and the like with the appropriate sealer. For larger projects, it’s best to consult an expert.

Touch Up Outdoor Paint

We’ve talked a lot about the cold, but it’s not as if fall doesn’t have its warmer days either. Take one of the days above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to touch up the exterior paint on the outside of your home. A fresh coat of paint or sealer will protect your surfaces from any weathering caused by, well, bad weather.

Bring On the Rest of Fall...And Winter, Too!

There you have it! Adding the tasks above to your checklist will keep your home running smoothly, inside and out, for the rest of fall. And by the time winter rolls around, you’ll have already made a good start on your winter preparations. That means less time dedicated to chores and more time cozying up by the fireplace!