Every fall it seems as the days get shorter, our schedules get tighter. School is in full swing, fall sports are underway and the economic fourth quarter is upon us. It seems we have more to do and less time in which to do it. This fall, don’t let your home maintenance decline along with those temperatures. Whether you have a minute, an hour or an entire weekend, here are some easy things to do to ensure your home will survive winter’s wrath.
In a Minute: Things to do at half time of the big game
- Grab hold of your caulking gun and walk the exterior of the house looking for cracks and crevices where cold air can seep through. Nip those spots in the bud.
- Keep an eye out for foundation cracks and shifting that may worsen over the colder months. Call a foundation inspector at the next commercial break.
- While you’re at it, dial the heating and cooling guy and schedule a furnace inspection. Its not only good for the system, a faulty furnace can cause deathly damage.
- Speaking of furnaces, swap out the old dirty filters and replace them with new.
- Have a paint can handy and do a lap around the house re-touching any spots that have been dinged, dented or smeared with the juice of your 6 year old’s cherry popsicle from last July.
- Flip those fans: ceiling fans should run clockwise for winter, counter clockwise for summer. Glad we finally cleared that up.
- Bring in the patio cushions. Pile them on the floor because cleaning and storing them takes longer than a few minutes and the third quarter is about to start.
In an Hour: Things to do while the chili simmers
- Get up on the roof. Check for damaged shingles, clogged gutters and cracked or dysfunctional flashings
- Pick an area of the lawn and prune, trim and mulch it. Take it bit by bit and eventually you’ll have the whole yard looking winter ready. Unlike during the summer months, the first section won’t grow back before you’ve tackled the last.
- Garage. Organize it. Sweep out the grass clippings and cobwebs. Store lawn and garden tools. Make room for your car again. You’ll appreciate it when temps drop.
- Check siding, trim, windows and doors. Take written or mental notes on what needs attention, they will come in handy when your weekend schedule clears up for those big home maintenance tasks.
In a Weekend: Things to do when your team is out of the playoffs (or when they’re so good they bypass the first round)
- Still have those notes? Good. Take them to your local home improvement warehouse and gather paint and repair supplies for any siding, trim, doors and windows that need attention before they demand it in the form of snowflakes in your living room.
- Drain and flush your hot water tank. Say goodbye to damage causing, system clogging sediment. (and hello to cold water for half the day).
- Gather the patio cushions that have been sitting on the family room floor for three weeks and give them a good once over. Let them dry completely while you bring in the furniture (that you’ll most likely wish you had left out when it’s a fluke 80 degrees on Halloween night).
- Winterize the lawn and landscaping by applying the correct fertilizer for your climate zone. Trim big trees and shrubs that may scrape against the house when the November wind howls.
- Stain the fence. Its one less thing you’ll have to do in the spring.
- Close up and say goodbye to the pool. All good things must come to an end.
Now sit back, relax, and take a deep breath because from here until the Holidays, its all downhill.