In Aggieland, the “real feel” may still push 100 degrees, but football season is here so we know fall temperatures are on their way! There are several things you can do to get your house and yard prepped for fall. Seasonal maintenance keeps your home looking fresh and protects it from damage or debris that comes with the autumn months. With Inhabit Real Estate Group’s list of tasks, you won’t have to spend time guessing at what needs to be done. Use this checklist to get your home ready for cooler weather or get it in tip-top shape if you’re prepping to sell.
1. Clean Your Gutters and Spouts: Clogged gutters can cause unwanted damage. It’s important to get them clean before the leaves fall. Try using an old plastic spatula to easily scoop the debris out of your gutters. You can even cut it to fit your gutter. A plumber’s snake is an easy way to pull clumps of wet leaves from gutter spouts.
Keep Watering Your Lawn: Even in the cooler months, your lawn still needs water. Wait until winter to pack up your sprinklers and water hoses and keep giving your yard the TLC it needs to endure the coldest months.
3. Aerate The Lawn: The best thing you can do for your soil is to aerate at least once a year. The fall is the perfect time to aerate, which means making holes in the ground by removing plugs of soil. This creates extra pore space in the soil, allowing air, nutrients, and water to enter your soil and reach tree and plant roots. You can rent an aerator at your local home and garden equipment store.
4. Fertilize Your Yard: Want to have the most luscious grass next spring? Three weeks before your final mow of the summer season, fertilize your yard. The fertilizer will give your grass roots the nutrients and energy required to multiply during the fall months. While your grass is dormant during the winter, the fertilizer helps the roots store food which gives your grass a growth spurt when spring arrives.
5. Drain Water Hoses: At the end of fall, before you wrap up your water hoses, be sure to completely drain them by unrolling them on a sloped driveway or yard. Or you can blast out the water using an air compressor. If you forget to drain the water, freezing temperatures could cause your them to split.
6. Check Your Smoke Detectors: Before you start baking fall desserts, soups, and chilis, and running your furnace or portable space heaters, check your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Change batteries and check expiration dates. Smoke detectors typically last 10 years and CO detectors are good for six years.
7. Clean Your Chimney: There’s nothing like a cozy fire warming up your home and your spirits during the colder months. Before you light your first fire, make sure your chimney is clean. You can call a chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney or test your chimney for residue by running the point of your fire poker up your chimney liner. Soot buildup is one of the major factors in a chimney fire and can be easily avoided by regular inspections and cleanings.
8. Check Weather Stripping: Before you start letting cold drafts in your home, check to see if the weather stripping around your doors or windows needs to be replaced. If it’s dried out and cracked or deteriorated, it’s time to replace it.
9. Store Lawn Chairs & Summer Gear: When the weather becomes more enjoyable, pick a day to clean and organize your garage. This is a great time to put away summer lawn gear, pool inflatables, and lawn chairs. Make your garage look and feel spacious by placing items on shelves and hanging tools and chairs from posts along the wall. You can easily create two brackets with 1x4 lumber, cutting each board 7-¾ inches long with a 30-degree angle on both ends. Screw these two boards across from each other into exposed wall studs for a handy, inexpensive way to hang lawn chairs.
10. Change The Furnace Filter: Before you turn on your furnace for the first time, be sure to change the filter. This will help to keep your furnace in good shape and ensure you have good airflow during the late fall and winter months.
Taking care of your home regularly by performing these seasonal maintenance tasks will help your house and yard stay safe and enjoyable. Additionally, when it comes time to sell, you’ll have fewer projects to complete to get your house ready for the market. For other ways to inhabit your home and community well, check out our Inhabit Guides.