5 Tips for Fall Home Maintenance in October
Well, autumn is almost here. How can you tell? Stores are out there promoting Halloween already. And, sure, the fiery colors of autumn leaves may herald in the passing of the season, but so can the onslaught of pumpkin-spiced drinks, coffees, cakes, desserts, and … yes … even pumpkin-spiced air fresheners.
Why does this matter to you? If you’re a homeowner, simply relaxing as the cool breezes of fall wash over you is not necessarily a time to let down your guard. Hence, our list of five things you should consider for fall home maintenance.
1. Get your lawn ready for winter
Depending on where you live, how you fertilize your lawn can vary. But, we’re going to focus on those who live in colder climates where lawns go dormant. Long-time home advice guy Bob Vila recommends using a slow-release organic fertilizer on your lawn. He says where areas get full sun, lay down between one and four pounds per 1,000 square feet of grass. In shaded areas, a little less.
You’ll want to aerate your lawn, as well. And then look for thinning places in your lawn to deny weed growth by applying cool weather grass seed.
2. Get Up-to-Date with Your Smoke Detectors
Fire Protection Week begins October 6, 2019. Are you finished with your gift shopping yet? Wait, wrong holiday. Nonetheless, this important occasion is a good reminder for you to assess your smoke detector situation in your home. Every level of your home should have one, especially kitchen areas, hallways, and every bedroom. Test your smoke detectors once a month by pressing the test button to make sure they work. If your smoke detectors are battery-operated, use the time change in spring and fall as your reminder to replace your smoke detector batteries with new batteries. And you should consider replacing the smoke alarms themselves every 8-10 years.
3. Fall Cleaning
This is a dust-er-riffic opportunity for you to give your house a thorough cleaning. Open all the windows of your home and bust out your dusting arsenal. As part of your process, you’ll want to dust things that don’t get routine attention like ceiling fans and hard-to-get-to places around and under furniture. Include on your fall cleaning list draperies, blinds, carpets, rugs, and your windows while you’re at it. Or better yet, hire someone else to do the job.
4. Does Your Home Exterior Look A-peel-ing?
Walk around your home and look for any damage to your home’s siding, foundation, and paint. Perform touch-up work on any cracked or peeling paint you come across. Not doing so can leave your home open to potential water damage once the ice and snow show up – which will surely cost you a lot more in repairs than doing some simple paint touch-up ahead of time.
5. Fire Up Your Fireplace
Nothing will get you in the mood to perform fireplace maintenance faster than the first blast of Arctic air. But waiting for that is not the smart option. October is the time you’ll want to get your fireplace ready for the coming winter. Repair chimney chips and cracks. Make sure door gaskets have a tight seal. And unless you want to end up looking like Dick Van Dyke from the original Mary Poppins, we’d recommend you let a professional chimney sweeper manage your soot buildup.
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