fall leaves rain gutter

In many parts of the country, fall is the perfect season. It’s not too hot or too cold, the air is clear and crisp, and the turning leaves create a backdrop for daily life. It’s also the best time to get your house ready for the coming change of seasons. With just a few preventative measures, you can ensure your home will be ready to take on the rougher weather that is sure to follow. Plus, once you’re finished, you can relax and really get outside and enjoy the season.

A Homeowner’s Fall To-Do List

1. Inspect the Exterior

Really look at your home’s outer shell and be on the lookout for things like peeling paint, missing shingles, eroded caulking, clogged downspouts, and loose gutters. By catching and addressing any of these conditions early, you can prevent moisture from penetrating the exterior of your home and potentially damaging your interior walls.

2. Make a Clean Sweep

It is important to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned annually if you use them regularly during colder months. This will prevent soot from building up. Even if you do not use them or use gas logs, test your fireplace flue to make sure it forms a tight seal when it’s closed. The loss of heat can be expensive and make a room uncomfortable.

3. Take It Inside

Scheduling a furnace tune-up ensures that your home will heat itself efficiently and safely, while replacing filters regularly keeps the system running optimally. Installing a programmable thermostat and reversing the direction of your ceiling fans also improve efficiency and heat distribution. Fall is also a time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and run tests to make sure they are functioning properly.

4. Treat Your Garage Like Your Closet

With the change of season, you will want to bring the equipment and outdoor decorations you plan to use in the coming months to the front and store the planters, tools, and furniture you won’t need until spring in the less accessible areas. Since you won’t be using it in the near future, it’s a good time to send your mower out to have its blade sharpened. It’s also important to make sure each of your cars is equipped with ice scrappers and an up-to-date emergency kit. Additionally, make sure your shovels and any other snow- and ice-removal tools are ready for duty.

5. Shift Your Yardwork Focus

Think green even as your grass is about to go dormant. Fertilizing now strengthens roots to encourage growth in the spring. Raking also promotes a healthy lawn, and the leaves you collect make good mulch for your garden by helping insulate plant roots against the cold. Once watering is no longer likely, bring in your hoses and turn off the water supply to your spigots. This prevents any potential issues that might arise from water becoming trapped in the pipes and freezing.

We’ve all heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to your home, fall is the season of prevention. Taking the time to ensure your home is in good shape now can lead to worry-free months ahead.