In fall, prepare your home and yard for cooler temperatures, falling leaves and more hours spent indoors.
- Clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
- Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it’s time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.
- Rake leaves and shred to use as mulch or dispose of them based on local guidelines.
- Close or install storm windows.
- Remove hoses from spigots, drain and store indoors, coiled and flat.
- Store outdoor furniture and cushions.
- Test snow blower and have it professionally serviced if necessary.
- Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
- To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not, the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.
- Lower humidity and cooler (not yet cold) temperatures make fall a good time to paint the exterior of your home.
- Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it’s needed.
- Have furnace professionally inspected.
- If needed, set traps for rodents.
- Dust blinds and vacuum curtains throughout your house.
- Clean kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw away outdated food, medicine and cosmetics.
- Check indicator lights on all homes surge protectors.
- Test all home GFCI receptacles.
- Change any water filters for water quality.
- Arrange for your annual home generator tune-up for optimal performance.
- Test panel circuit breakers.
- Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Test batteries and replace if necessary.
- Clothes Dryer – Vacuum the lint from ducts and surrounding areas.
- Refrigerator – Vacuum condenser coils to increase energy efficiency.