Fall is a great time of year. The leaves are changing colors, the air has that crispness to it, and you can finally break out your favorite pair of boots. And if you're like most people, you are setting aside time to winterize your home over the next 12 weeks. Before the days get too short and you find yourself driving home in the dark at 5 PM, here are 10 home maintenance tasks you need to tackle.
1. Clean out the gutters. Gutter debris can clog up your system and cause water damage in the long run, so getting them cleaned now may be a lifesaver. Grab a plastic spatula and start scooping those piles of leaves this weekend.
2. Replace the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These alarms save lives, so make sure you're testing the alarms, changing the batteries in them regularly, and replacing the alarms every 10 years.
3. Water your lawn. If you live in an area with hot summers, your lawn could be suffering from summer stress and may need a little help getting through the winter ahead. After all, it's only a couple of months away. Fall is a great time to ensure that fresh water makes its way to every sprout in order to preserve what green space you have left.
4. Aerate your lawn's soil. Aerating your lawn allows air, nutrients, and water to enter, which helps you maintain a healthy garden. Aeration will also help eliminate unwanted weeds from the soil and break up sparse, compacted patches of grass into lush blades.
5. Winterize your lawn's sprinkler system with a compressor. This will need to be done in stages, as even the most powerful home compressor doesn't have enough strength to blow out an entire system. Divide the gallons per minute of each sprinkler zone by 7.5 to get the cubic feet per minute and know how long it'll take you to clear out the system.
6. Cut your grass short. Short grass is better in cold climates because it reduces the chance of snow mold forming.
7. Give your furnace and air conditioner an inspection. Clean or replace filters as necessary to prolong their life. It is also important that both run properly, so set a reminder to have them checked in the coming weeks.
8. Before you switch off your air conditioner for the season, make sure there are no leaves or other debris preventing it from doing its job. A clogged drain line can cause major issues down the road!
9. Have any loose screens been repaired or replaced yet? Fall is the perfect time to do this because you won't be opening windows often for a while. This is also the perfect time to check for drafts coming through the bottom of your windows and sealing them up.
10. Have your chimney swept. Creosote and soot buildup can cause an uncontrollable fire in the chimney. Keep your home and your family safe by having it cleaned before using it this fall.
At first, winterizing your home can seem daunting. However, all you really need to do is take care of a few basic steps and keep up with them over the next two months or so. By doing these tasks now, you'll save an immense amount of time in the winter when it's cold outside.