Smart Ways to Get Ready for Autumn
It’s that time of the year again when as a kid, we couldn’t wait to gobble down every last crumb of the delicious spiced pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls my mom baked. Those were the days! I love the chill in the early morning air and the leaves beginning to change color…fall is here! It’s also a good time to undertake some annual maintenance so you’re saved any pricey repairs when winter approaches.
Clean the gutters
Fallen leaves can beautifully carpet your lawn but at the same time clog the gutters and drains. Use a rake or a suitable garden implement to clean the leaves and debris from the gutters. Ice dams tend to form in blocked gutters and drains letting water percolate into the house. And while you’re at it, inspect and clean the downspouts as well. Ensure that the water flows away from your house and if necessary, add extensions to them to divert the flow of water away from the walls.
Inspect the pipes
Pipes that don’t have enough insulation can freeze as the temperatures dip, and frozen pipes can burst which is a situation you don’t want to be in! Check the pipes in attics, basements, crawlspaces, garages and wrap them in insulated fiberglass or foam sleeves.
Get your roof ready
Inspect your roof for any repairs such as damaged or loose shingles and leaky vents. You can inspect the roof using binoculars or call in roofing experts to do a thorough check. If the house has a flat roof, sweep off the fallen leaves and other debris that accumulates over time. Flat roofs are also susceptible to rain water pooling on them and causing leaks. Mold and mildew stains are indicators of a leak, which if not addressed on time, can compound your problems when the rains and snow come pelting down. We got a new roof installed last year – the shingles on our old roof were in a terrible shape and we found a couple of dangerous leaks that threatened to destroy the structure if not fixed on time. We liked the shingle styles Champion Windows and Doors has to offer as compared to the ones Menards and Lowe’s had in store.
Check the heating system
Now we are in Autumn, winter isn’t too far away either so make sure the heating system is in top shape to get the warmth back into your house. If you don’t have one yet, consider a programmable thermostat which can be set to lower the temperature setting when required and greatly reduce your utility bills. Next, get the furnace inspected by a certified HVAC professional and clean it and get the filter changed. Buy a few filters and replace the furnace with a new filter once in a few weeks.
It’s time to seal any gaps and cracks that could cause air infiltration and spoil even the most efficient heating system. To check for drafts walk around the house holding a lighted candle. Caulk and reseal every small gap or crevice you come across. When doors and windows are shut, you shouldn’t be able to see any light filtering in through the seal. If you can, reinforce the caulking and weather-strip the windows if necessary. Don’t stop at windows and doors, look for gaps wherever you have cable, gas, and phone lines coming in and even electric sockets and caulk them if needed. This is also a great time to mount storm windows for added insulation and keep the windows from fogging up during the cold season.
Replace the alarm batteries
Replace the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector with new batteries. Test them once to ensure they’re functioning properly. Hold a candle below as a smoke source to see if the smoke alarm goes off. Most of us have these safety devices in the house, but you can also put them up in garages and attics for added safety.
Close the pool
It’s not the season for a swim anyway! Call the pool maintenance guys and close the pool till summer next year and save yourself a ton of cleaning and maintenance woes.
Once you’re done with all these chores, bring out your fall decorations to deck up your house and then sit back and relax! Because it’s not long before your family will be pumpkin picking and carving for Halloween! Have a wonderful fall season!Author profile:
Michael Joseph is a freelance writer who has had 12 years of experience as an interior designer.