LIFESTYLE

Fall Maintenance for Your Home



Summer has passed and the cool and colourful fall season is here. Many homeowners use the change in season as a signal to improve the home before the winter months arrive. A little fall planning can go a long way in protecting your house, especially since it is extremely difficult and risky to do improvements when the snow has fallen. But where should you begin? Fall maintenance is similar to its counterpart spring cleaning because there can be a lot of tasks to complete. It may seem daunting at times, however, if you take it one step at a time you can improve your home in no time.

Gardens

Many experienced homeowners recognize that gardening work doesn't end after Labour Day. The fall is the time to prep for the next year. Take out the old and dying plants and add some new soil and fertilizer to the flowerbeds. Make sure you empty your garden hoses and or winterize the sprinkler system. Start to organize the garden shed now and take inventory of tools that need to be repaired or replaced. If you are up to it, you can also plant hardy fall plants like cabbages, kale or winter jasmines to add colour to your garden which will last all winter long.

Storage Spaces

Don't underestimate the importance of assessing the condition of your storage spaces. It is really difficult to organize or renovate storage spaces like the basement, garage, and closets in the winter. Fall is the ideal period to take a detailed look at the condition of your spaces. Do you have enough space for all of the summer items that need to be packed away? Did you purchase too many items over the summer? Is the basement or the garage in need of some TLC? These are the types of questions need to ask themselves when committing to fall maintenance. Start to put away some of your summer items, for example, clothing, and pull out the fall essentials. Also, organize your storage spaces to ensure when the summer comes back around everything is easy to access.

Exterior and Interior Maintenance

There are a few small tasks that it would be wise to complete during the fall maintenance season. To start with the interior, you want to start preparing the equipment you'll be using throughout winter. For instance, equipment that keeps your house warm will be readily used. Two areas to consider are the chimneys and the furnace. For the latter, take time to change your furnace filters before you turn on the heat for the first time. Also, if you have a chimney, this would be the opportune time to do a cleaning to get rid of any soot buildup.

For the exterior of the home, the key areas to consider are the gutters and window wells. The accumulation of ice and snow can tend to bend gutters and can result in them being detached from the home. To avoid this make sure you clean your gutters to prevent buildup. Also, straighten gutters and secure them to the fascia board. Clean the gutters and make sure to secure your gutters. Window wells are an area that is commonly overlooked. Most homeowners don't think to clean them out. However, over the summer and fall months, leaves can prevent proper drainage resulting in a pool of water during heavy rainfall. This could result in a cracked or broken window which means a lot of water could get into your basement.

It is important to remember that fall maintenance doesn't need to be done all in one day. Take a few days out of the week to complete a few tasks at a time. The work you put in now will go far in ensuring your house is safe, warm and comfortable during the upcoming seasons.

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