10 Fall Home Maintenance Tips for this October
Fall is really the perfect time to give your yard and home some TLC and ensure that both are prepared for harsh, cold conditions. Before we know it a frost will be here and winter weather will become more consistent. Check out these TEN fall maintenance tips and add them to your October must-do list!
- FLOWERS - Grab those flowering bulbs and perennials and start digging! Tulips and hyacinths are always in bloom. Keep in mind bulbs should be planted when evening temperatures average between 40 to 50 degrees and you should plant at least six weeks before the ground freezes.
- GUTTERS - As they fall and accumulate, clean all those autumn leaves from gutters and gutter spouts before the blockages cause any damage. Your plumber's snake is a great tool for pulling clumps of wet leaves out of clogged downspouts.
- CHIMNEY - Especially if you have a wood burning fireplace, you should have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected for soot buildup, obstructions, cracks in the chimney liner and signs of water damage. Older chimneys often have gaps between clay liner sections where the mortar has fallen out.
- FURNACE - Changing your furnace filter is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your furnace in good shape. If you haven't changed it in a while, make sure you have a fresh one before you turn your furnace on for the first time.
- CRITTERS - Mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak into your house and raid your pantry — and with colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.
- LOWER ENERGY BILLS - Weatherstripping applied around the frames of windows and doors helps boost winter warmth and cut energy costs. Add door sweeps to the base of drafty doors to keep heat in and cold air out.
- DRYER VENTS - Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire — cool, dry fall weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has built up, so now is a key time to get that lint out. You can hire a duct cleaning specialist to clean the vents for you, or clean the vent yourself.
- MULCH - Applying 2-3” of mulch helps to protect plants during the harshest winter weather. If you don’t want to buy large bags at the store, you can mulch your leaves with a lawnmower a few times and spread around accordingly.
- FERTILIZER - Check with a lawn care professional or local home improvement store as to which fertilizer is best to use to protect your grass from snow and ice. For best results, do this before the first frost!
- SEED - Overseeding in early fall gives turfgrass seed time to germinate and the resulting seedlings time to mature to the point where they can survive the winter and begin growing again when spring arrives. Fill in patches where grass appears damaged by summer sun and insects and you’ll be really happy you did it when the snow melts.
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