Fall is the perfect time to get your house in order. Whether you have leaves to rake or gutters to clean or want to get your indoors comfy and organized for those long winter months, your autumn to-do list is calling—and the right tools and items can make your job a whole lot easier.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few items that can help jump-start your fall maintenance chores—along with some selected online reviews—so you’re sitting pretty by the time winter is knocking on your door. (It’ll be here before you know it!)
Inspect Your Roof
Look for missing and loose shingles. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense from all sorts of elements. It’s imperative that your roof stays in tip-top shape, especially during winter months. Note: if your home is 2-stories or more, consider hiring a professional to clear your gutters. Have a licensed, certified roofing professional inspect the condition of your roof.
Check Your Foundation
Inspect your home’s foundation for cracks-caulk areas where pipes, wires, etc. enter the house. Also, caulk around windows and door frames to keep the cold air from getting into your house.
Check Your Safety Devices
Fall is a great time to check your home’s safety devices. Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if necessary. Take a look at your fire extinguisher and find its expiration date. Replace if needed.
Insulate Your Windows
Older windows need a little extra help keeping the cold air out and the warm air in. First, figure out where your home is losing heat by moving your hand around the window’s frame and feel for drafts. Add weatherstripping and caulk where needed. “Proper sealing and insulation can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs, or up to 10% on your total annual energy bill,”
Maintain Your Deck
Check handrails, stairs, and railings on your decks and porches. Look for loose railings-make sure they’re steady and ready to support someone during wet weather. Check for split or decaying wood, and inspect the flashing that directs the water away from sensitive areas like window sills and exterior doors. Clean and cover your outdoor furniture and barbecue or stow them away for the season in a covered area.
Inspect Your Heating System
Have your heating system inspected by a licensed heating contractor. Your heating system will run more efficiently, use less energy, and last longer if it is properly serviced.
Prepare Your Lawn and Garden
Clean your summer garden tools and store them away for the winter. Drain fuel from your gas-operated equipment like leaf blowers and lawnmowers. If you’re in a snowy climate, make sure your snow equipment is operational.