With the changing colours of the leaves, a nip in the air, and pumpkin-spiced everything, you know it’s time to settle in for the fall. You’ve been keeping up with the yard and home maintenance throughout the summer, but now you can surely take a rest, right?
Not just yet. There’s quite a bit of maintenance that homeowners should be doing throughout the fall. Fortunately, most are fairly easy to do in a single day. Once they’re out of the way, you can light up a fire in the fire pit and toast some marshmallows.
Take Care of Falling Leaves Regularly
This is really the big fall maintenance task. You need to remove the fallen leaves from your yard and from the gutters. If you get a lot of leaves in your yard, you may even need to do this a few times each week. Many people rake them up, but some people choose to mulch them with the lawnmower. If you have a bag attached to the mower to collect them, it’s easy. Make sure you pay attention to city rules about leaf disposal.
Don’t forget to look in the gutters for any blockages that might be caused by leaves. These can cause extensive damage in the winter when melting snow can’t drain properly. You can look directly in the gutters or check out how well they drain during the next rainstorm.
Clean and Store Your Summer Items
Once you’re done with all of the items you needed during the summer, you’ll want to carefully clean them and put them away. The garden tools will probably be the first thing that you’re ready to store. Make sure they don’t have a lot of dirt on them, and keep them in the garage or basement throughout the winter. You’ll also want to put the hose away to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.
Finally, you’ll probably want to clean the grill and put it somewhere safe so that it will be ready when you want to fire it up next spring. Set it to a high heat, then use the cleaning brush to scrape off the grill. Detach the propane tank and put it in storage. Keep the grill in the garage or put a cover on it.
Get the Lawn Ready for Winter
A great summer lawn actually starts at the end of fall before the snow starts coming down. Take the time to lay down a lot of grass seed, along with some fertilizer. It will start to take root during the winter, and by spring, it will grow nicely. This is important because thick, quality grass helps prevent weeds from growing. Your local nursery can help you find products that are right for your lawn so your landscaping looks its best.
Check the Exterior of Your Home
Take an hour to inspect the exterior of your home for any damage. In a brand-new home, you probably don’t have to worry, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe. There could be loose shingles that aren’t giving your home the best protection. There could be holes that are inviting animals inside for a nice, warm winter.
If you have large trees around your home, you want to be sure that you don’t have any branches touching the roof -- which could help an animal gain access to your home -- or branches that could damage your home if they fell off during a storm.
Protect Your Pipes and AC
When water freezes, it expands, so you don’t want water freezing in your pipes. Turn off the water that goes to the outside spigots. Some people even place special insulation around the spigots to further protect the home. Additionally, if you have an exterior air conditioning unit, you may want to purchase a cover to protect it from the snow. Your user manual will let you know whether or not this is a recommended practice for your particular model.
Prepare for the Upcoming Winter Weather
You’ll also just want to get ready for the winter before the snow starts falling. Purchase a sturdy shovel or a snowblower. If you already have a snowblower, make sure it’s in working condition. If you forgot to drain the gas at the end of the winter, it could be hard to start up. You’ll also probably want salt to melt the ice. Get a pet-safe version if you’ll be taking the dog out for walks. And while you usually will have some warning about an upcoming storm, it doesn’t hurt to have a small stockpile of food just in case.
Fall can be a relaxing time, but you’ll feel better when you take care of the important maintenance chores we’ve listed. Put them on your schedule today.