Start preparing your home for cooler temperatures and fall weather.

Welcome fall! Fall is the time of transition when we start to put away our summer gear and prepare for cooler weather. It can be a busy month for home maintenance, especially if you live in a region with fall wind and rainstorms. Be sure you do your outdoor tasks before the weather gets too bad and book your professional services like chimney sweeping and roof/gutter cleaning.  In addition to professional servicing, there are easy DIY tasks you can do yourself to make sure you are getting your home ready for autumn.

In the garden there is still much to harvest: berries, tomatoes, corn, carrots, and beets make great canning or preserving projects for the fall. Many orchards offer apple picking and even early pumpkin harvesting. Some states start experiencing their first frost dates in early October – these homeowners will want to use September to begin their annual frost protection tasks.

 

Fall maintenance tasks

  • Lay mulch for winter frost prep
  • Trim back flowering plants like lavender
  • Prune trees and shrubs near the house
  • Can or preserve garden edibles
  • Repair exterior siding as necessary
  • Prep and clean fireplace
  • Check for air leaks in attic and basement
  • Clear roof and gutters from leaves
  • Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector
  • Inspect your fire extinguishers

 

Tip of the month: Fireplace Safety

Your fireplace should be a source of warmth and comfort, not a dangerous hazard. Unfortunately, every year thousands of people (including children) are seriously injured by fires. 14,000 house fires each year originate in the fireplace, so the more you know how to maintain your fireplace (and safely use it) the better. Be sure you read all of our fireplace safety tips including:

  • Have your fireplace inspected each year by a professional, especially if your fireplace is wood burning
  • Clear the area around the hearth and make sure it’s free of flammable materials
  • Use only seasoned hardwood – softwood creates more creosote buildup
  • Always use a screen around the fireplace to catch sparks

 

– Ann Reagan from Porch