When the end of summer’s heat turns chilly and you’re pulling out your boots more than your flip flops, that means it’s time to tackle a few simple chores around the house that’ll make for a worry-free winter, while preventing some any surprises in the spring.
These fall home improvement tips will help:
Prepare Your Home for Fall Weather
1. Avoid Faucet Faux-Paus
Remove any garden hoses from your outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached to the spouts can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the pipes inside your walls. If freezing temps hit, any trapped water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Turn off any shutoff valves to water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets. This way, you’ll guard against minor leaks that could enter the faucet.
2. Drain Your Sprinklers
It’s a good idea to drain your irrigation system because buried irrigation lines can freeze, which leads to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.
3. Service Smoke Alarms
Clear any dust from the smoke-sensing chamber of a smoke detector by using the soft brush of a vacuum, then test it after reinstalling.
4. Make It Air-Tight
Grab several tubes of color-matched exterior caulk from your local hardware store and seal up cracks around the exterior of your home between the trim and siding, around windows and door frames, and also where pipes and wires enter your home. Doing this prevents moisture from getting inside your walls and is one of the least expensive, and most important, of your fall home improvement tips. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy, helping improve your energy bills as well.
5. Gutter Gunk
Gunked up rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove debris. Make sure that the gutters aren’t sagging or trapping water and manually tighten gutter hangers and any downspout brackets. If needed, replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.
6. Fix Your Furnace
You should definitely schedule to have a heating and cooling professional check your heating system and get it tuned up for heating season. Don’t forget to change your furnace filters, too. Changing filters is a job you should do every two months, but fall is definitely the time to double check. If your HVAC includes a built-in humidifier, make sure to replace that filter as well.
7. Prune Your Plants
The best time to prune plants and trees is in late fall which is when the summer growth cycle is over. The goal is to keep branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, causing leaks or creating damage from high winds.