As the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler, there are a few home maintenance tasks you need to put on your to-do list. Follow our checklist to get your home, both interior and exterior, in the best shape this month for the fall elements.
In the Yard
- Plant your spring bulbs. As soon as the soil has cooled (but before the ground freezes), plant your spring-blooming flowers like tulips, daffodils and irises.
- Apply a treatment of fertilizer. Now that your grass has recovered from the hot summer, apply a fertilizer with phosphorous to promote stronger, deeper grass roots. This helps your lawn better withstand temperature extremes.
- Drain your exterior faucets. To lessen the chance of burst pipes, turn off the water outflow to your outdoor water lines. These are usually found in your basement, garage or crawl space. Shut off the water supply and go outside to turn on the exterior spigot. This releases water still trapped in the pipe. Turn it off once the water stops flowing. Drain and store hoses in your garage.
On the Exterior
- Inspect your walkways and driveway. Fix any problem areas with a patch kit compatible with your driveway type, available at any hardware store.
- Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts. A few hours of elbow grease and a ladder can prevent major water issues down the road.
- Get on top of roof issues. While your ladder is out for gutter cleaning, get on your roof to check for missing shingles or shingles that are cracked or wind damaged.
For the Interior
- Test and change the batteries in smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors). October is Fire Prevention Month, so there is no time like the present to make sure your home is safe. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of home fire deaths in half.
- Call your HVAC professional. If you haven’t already, it’s important to have your furnace serviced annually to make sure it is operating efficiently. At the very least, change your furnace filters before turning it on for the heating season.
- Seal drafts around windows and doors. Use weather-stripping or caulking to seal small cracks.
- Properly prep your fireplace for use. If you use your fireplace regularly, you need to have it regularly inspected by a certified chimney sweep to ensure safety and efficiency.
If your home is in need of some bigger home maintenance or home renovation projects, download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for ways to incorporate the costs of your improvements into your mortgage.