Happy Fall (Home Maintenance)!

fall-cleaning-outdoors-360x240The first day of fall was greeted with a cool, overcast morning, a relief after Monday’s high temperatures. Leaves are just starting to change, hints of yellow and orange tinting green leaves.

In honor of the changing season, we’re sharing our top ten tips for a fall home maintenance.

  • Clean those gutters!

Be proactive: have the gutters cleaned before leaves have fallen, then cover the gutters with mesh so they stay clean and water can flow freely. If it’s too late for proactive cleaning, be sure to clean the gutters regularly and especially after leaves have finished falling. The fallen leaves can get caught in gutters, clogging them and preventing water from clearing out. Failure to clear gutters can result in pooling water that damages siding, roofs and basements.

  • Rake the leaves

Fall-CleanupWhile we’re on the topic of leaves, don’t forget to rake them! Kiddos love jumping in your freshly raked piles, and you may even be able to convince them to pick up a rake themselves and help out. Unraked leaves can kill grass, especially if they get buried by Colorado snows. Most cities have places leaves can be dropped off, you can find more information about Denver’s LeafDrop here:   www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/trash-and-recycling/composting/seasonal-programs

  • Weather-stripping

We all know the bills go up in the cooler seasons. Weather-stripping is one of the best ways to keep the warm air in, the cool air out and the heat bill just a little lower (and vice versa in the summer). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gaps in weather-stripping and caulk account for around 10% of your heating bills.

See: Instructions for Weatherizing Your Home via Home Depot

For craftier folks, here’s quick guide to making your own draft stopper from Houzz.com:

1. Cut a length of material about 3 inches longer than the width of your door (to allow for seams) and 6 to 8 inches wide.

2. Fold the material lengthwise, with right sides together.

3. Stitch a seam (by hand or on a sewing machine) down the long side, creating a tube of fabric. Stitch one end closed.

4. Turn the draft stopper right side out so the seams are hidden on the inside (use a yardstick or wooden spoon to get it completely turned right side out).

5. Fill with dry rice or beans.

6. Fold the open ends under and sew shut.

  • Fix the outside

Before snow falls, which could happen at any moment with Colorado’s crazy weather patterns, it is important to complete exterior home repairs. Get your roof checked out to make sure it can bear the weight of Colorado snow. Leaky windows or a damaged roof could result in extensive interior damages.

  • Become a chimney-sweep

Flashback to a childhood of watching Mary Poppins…

Jokes aside, it is important to make sure your chimney, boiler or furnace is clean and functioning properly before turning on the heating system. Have your heating system checked by a professional to ensure everything is safe and in proper working order.

  • Don’t let pipes freeze

Exterior water pipes can burst in the winter if still filled with water or not properly insulated. Shut off exterior water sources; and for pipes that remain in use throughout the winter, be sure to wrap the pipes to prevent them from freezing.

  • Stock up, be prepared

It’s always a good idea to be well-stocked on winter supplies. Storms can keep you off the roads and away from stores for a few days, and it is important to be prepared. It is a good idea to keep a few blankets in the trunk of your car, and don’t forget the snow scraper for windows. Keep the pantry stocked with canned goods and emergency supplies. Have a stock of salt for sidewalks, as well as shovels and ice scrapers.

  • Check safety devices

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested regularly and the batteries replaced, fall-cleaning is the perfect time to keep them up-to-date! Check out your fire extinguisher and replace it if the expiration date has passed. Check the home for radon, as cooler weather increases the chances of this harmful gas being trapped in your home.

  • Keep sidewalks safeDSC_6118

We all know how treacherous the journey from the car to the front door can be in frozen winter months. Don’t let a damaged driveway or sidewalk make the journey any more dangerous! Repair cracks or holes in the walkways, stairs and rails before the freezing weather comes. Smooth sidewalks and driveways are easier to shovel, too.

  • Clean!

And last, but not least, don’t forget to clean! Fall tidying is just as important as spring cleaning. We all love the fresh, crisp fall air flowing through the open windows of our house, but with it comes dirt and dust, adding to the mess of summer. Deep clean the house before it’s too cold to be motivated. Wash the windows, scrub the floors, deep clean the kitchen, freshen the furniture, sweep every corner and find more ideas from Organized Home.

Do you have more ideas for preparing for fall? Share them with us in the comments, or visit our Facebook page.

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