Fall is officially here! Even if the crisp autumn temps haven’t quite reached your area yet, we want to help you get a jump start on your seasonal home maintenance tasks because…dare I say it…winter is coming.
Even though there are likely a few sunny days left, we want to help you start your to-do list now. This way, you can gradually prepare in between sipping pumpkin lattes, apple picking, watching football, and hiking through the beautiful autumn colors with your family!
There’s so much to love about fall, if you’re like me, you’ll make a plan to avoid scrambling last minute. Still having plenty of time to enjoy your favorite fall-time activities is a must.
Here are some top tasks to complete this fall:
Check weather stripping on doors and have it replaced if necessary
Generally speaking, weatherstripping on average can last around 5 years. It’s still a good idea to check in the fall for any tears or leaks before colder temps arrive.
Inspect & weatherize windows
Drafty single-pane windows are a common problem in many older Seattle homes, and may also be an issue in your home! Be sure to seal these up or perform maintenance like glazing; which helps seal any gaps/cracks between the wood and glass of a window to make your windows more energy efficient.
You’ll also want to be sure to remove or cover any window A/C units you may have and close all storm windows.
Fertilize & water lawn
The nutrients your lawn will get from fertilizer will help promote growth in the spring. Follow it up with watering regularly (strive for 1 inch per week, including rainfall) to help your lawn rejuvenate after the harsh summer heat.
Plant bulbs for next spring
Planting bulbs ahead of time in the fall results in a beautiful display of colors in the springtime. Cross this one off your list if you don’t have a green thumb or flowers are not your jam.
Drain all outdoor faucets, hoses, and winterize sprinkler systems
Water freezing in your pipes can lead to them bursting, so whatever you do, don’t skip this step. Remove all hoses and drain out any access water. You may also want to consider purchasing an insulation cover from your local hardware store, which costs under $5.
Test all winter equipment
You don’t want to wait until the first major snowfall to see if your snowblower is working properly. Keep your machine in good shape by performing necessary maintenance such as changing the oil, replacing spark plugs, adding fresh gas and stabilizer.
Test furnace & replace the filter
You’ll want to make sure your furnace is in good working order before you absolutely need it. You may want to hire an HVAC specialist to clean and proactively inspect your furnace for any problems. While you’re at it, it would be a good idea to change your furnace filter before turning the heat on. Pro tip: you can buy a smart filter now that will notify you when it’s time to change it again.
Inspect & clean your fireplace & chimney
How often you clean your fireplace can depend largely on how much you use it. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), all chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year to avoid creosote build-up; an oily and highly flammable byproduct of burning wood that can build up inside your chimney flue. It’s also recommended to remove any ash or debris from the firebox.
Don’t forget to inspect and check the bricks for cracks on the inside of the fireplace. Also check to make sure the damper functions properly and the protective screening on the chimney cap is intact.
Clean gutters & downspouts
In addition to cleaning up the leaves from your lawn, you’ll want to do the same for your gutters. Cleaning out any dirt/leaf buildup that may occur is important to prevent clogs and encourage proper drainage. Leaf build-up can trap water that will freeze once the temps drop; and can potentially cause damage to the structure of your gutter or even your roofing.
Test smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
It never hurts to make sure this is part of your regular home maintenance. If you haven’t tested these in a while make sure you do so and replace batteries when needed.
Stay on track with your fall home maintenance to-dos, by downloading our handy checklist here. If you need help with any of the tasks mentioned above, Fixer has your back… Book a Fixer! With the help from a Fixer, you’ll never have to worry about when you’re going to get these tasks done. Fixer also has a fantastic program, Care & Protect, that puts homeownership on autopilot with reoccurring visits from your favorite handyperson. Learn more about our Care & Protect membership plans here.