Fall is one of the most colorful seasons of the year. When autumn leaves fall slowly to the ground, the surroundings turn into a flurry of burnt orange, gold, red, yellow and brown hues. It also signals the start of the cold season. Aside from trading your summer shorts and tops for sweaters and pants, you also need to take steps in preparing your home.
Here, we will take a look at the reasons why you should take proper maintenance steps for your home during the fall season, and how you can do just that without spending a lot of money. Read all about these fall maintenance tips and your life will be much better in an instant!
Why Prepare Your Home During the Fall Season?
Why should you take proper maintenance steps to prepare your home for the fall season? As mentioned earlier, fall is the precursor to winter which happens to be the coldest months of the year.
Your goal is to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home, and this would not happen if you will not prepare your house accordingly.
Sealing off those caulks and gaps on the windows and doors will prevent the draft from coming in. More than just maintaining a comfortable temperature indoors, these steps will also make your home’s cooling system more efficient, thereby saving you money on heating bills.
Another reason why you should prepare your home during the fall season is that a house is one of the biggest investments that you will ever make in a lifetime. Similar to your car which you probably spent a fortune on, home maintenance requires time and money. Without it, even a newly-built house can easily fall apart after a few years.
When you take steps to prepare your home for the fall season, you can also prevent structural damage from occurring. Once the first snowflake falls on the ground, that is as good a sign as any that your roof will be subject to extremely cold temperatures. The same thing holds true for all the exterior parts of your house. If it was not originally built to withstand snow, sleet and other elements, you might find yourself dealing with more structural damage than you can imagine.
Also, proper fall home maintenance will keep all your home’s systems running properly – starting from the plumbing system to the electrical system; as well as the heating and cooling system. Read on to find out what individual steps you can take in order to maintain your home during the fall season without having to spend so much money.
Fall Home Maintenance Tips to Save Money
Preparing your home for the fall season will help you save time, effort and energy while also preserving the structural integrity of the house. Here are the top 12 tips on how you can properly maintain your home during the fall season without having to spend a lot of money:
1. Tidy up your garage.
Don’t wait until spring to start your home clean-up sessions. Fall is as good a time as any to clean out your garage. How will this help you save money? You can save a lot of time and energy looking for the things you need from your garage without having to go through a pile of junk. Get all the items from your garage out in the open.
Group them all according tools, garbage and equipment. Throw away anything that has not been used for the past two years. You can also get rid of all broken items, as well as anything falling under the ‘junk’ category.
After cleaning out the garage’s interior, put all the usable tools back in an organized manner. This will only take you half of a day at the most, and you can maximize the use of your garage all year long.
2. Pack up your outdoor dining/activities gear.
Summer is the time for barbecue parties, pool parties, family gatherings and similar activities. Once the fall season officially starts, you can pack up all your outdoor dining and activities gear. Before keeping those outdoor cushions, umbrellas and hammocks back in storage, make sure to clean them up properly.
Use waterproof furniture covers that will maintain the cleanliness of the items so that you can take them out of storage in pristine condition next summer. The one item that you can keep outside is your grill – cooking outdoors during winter will help warm you up and save you money on electrical bills.
3. Work on your garden.
Spring may be the perfect time to plant flowering and fruit-bearing plants, but fall is when you should start prepping up the soil. If there are bare spots in your front lawn or backyard, reseed them and use a fertilizer that’s specifically formulated for cold weather. Rake all the fallen leaves, then mulch and prune those shrubs and trees that you have.
4. Make sure that your home has an efficient heating system.
Heating and cooling makes up almost half of your utility bills. To save money during the coldest months of the year, prep up your home by ensuring the efficiency of your heating system.
Make sure that there are no air leaks around windows and doors. You can use caulk and weather stripping formula to seal the gaps. Other places that you should check for air leaks are entry points for electrical wires, cables, phone cables, gas lines, etc.
5. Go outside the house and check on the walks and drives.
You don’t want to damage your car tires or cause undue injury especially during wintertime when there is ice to be dealt with. During the fall season, it’s a good idea to closely inspect the walkways and driveways.
If you see a crack that is at least an eighth of an inch wide, you can perform a DIY solution to fill it up. Also fill up uneven sections, and check for loose railings on stairwells. If there’s a major repair that needs to be done, go and call a handyman to do a professional job of it and prevent further damage.
6. Do something about the drainage system of your roof.
One of the most important tasks that you need to finish during the winter season is inspecting and cleaning those downspouts and gutters. These are parts of a roof’s drainage system.
During the rainy or winter season, gallons of water is being diverted from the exterior and foundation walls of your house so it plays an important role in preserving the structural integrity of the building. During the fall season, make sure that the gutters are not clogged. Watch out for corrosion and rust and use mesh guards to keep the debris from clogging up the system.
7. See to it that the faucets will not freeze and burst.
Some states experience worse winters than others. If you live in an area where winters get particularly harsh, make sure that all your faucets are freeze-proof so they don’t freeze and burst. The same thing applies to an in-ground irrigation system, if you have one.
8. Inspect your furnace and your fireplace.
Next, check on your furnace and fireplace. The filters on furnaces usually trap dust, so make sure that they are cleaned thoroughly. A dirty furnace filter will make your heating system work doubly harder, so the utility bills will also increase.
9. Run the humidifier.
Aside from making your skin dry, keeping the humidifier off will make your wooden furniture prone to cracking. To make sure that it is in tiptop shape, inspect the pads or plates and clean them, if necessary. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to maintain the humidifier so you can keep it on for a full month.
Here you can find some cute and practical humidifiers for your home.
10. Check the gas heater for any problems.
More than just reducing your utility bills, closely inspecting your gas heater is the best way to make sure that your home is safe from unexpected explosions. When a heater is improperly maintained, it can cause poisonous air to be produced.
It’s best to have a professional check your gas heater, just to be on the safe side. For regular maintenance, all you need to do is shut off the heater and check the vents and openings for dirt and dust. Using a small vacuum cleaner, you can get rid of the dirt to make sure that it is running efficiently.
11. Make sure that the smoke and CO detectors are working.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to maintain your smoke and CO detectors. Replace the batteries regularly. You can also vacuum the unit using a small brush attachment. For safety purposes, make sure that you have at least one fire extinguisher by the kitchen and on other floors of the house.
12. Do a general pre-winter clean-up.
Finally, do a general pre-winter clean-up and get rid of all the junk inside your house. Pay close attention to any leftover hazardous household chemicals, flammable materials and poisons which should be stored in places which are out of children’s reach.
Maintain a clean, clear space around heaters, gas systems and furnaces to make sure that they can work properly and efficiently come winter time.
By doing these fall home maintenance tasks, you can prevent structural damage, save energy and keep the house in excellent shape right before winter.