How to prepare your home for fall

As the days get shorter, the nights get cooler, and leaves begin falling from the trees, it’s official: Fall is here. It’s time to finish up any last-minute late-summer maintenance projects, and get your home and yard ready for fall.

Here’s an easy checklist, both inside and outside, to get your home clean, warm, and ready for the cool days ahead.

Exterior prep

  • Fix cracks in concrete and asphalt. Depending on where you live, these may be the last weeks of the year to repair driveway and sidewalk cracks before the cold and snow arrive.
  • Clean the gutters. This is something that should be done annually. A few hours of work can prevent big problems in the future. While you’re up there, visually inspect your roof for damaged shingles, flashing, or vents. You can also inspect the chimney for any missing mortar, and consider tuck-pointing if needed.
  • Turn off outdoor plumbing. Drain outdoor faucets, hoses and sprinkler systems. Cover them to protect them from the freezing weather to come.
  • Plant bulbs for spring-blooming flowers. The first sign of spring is when tulips and daffodils start popping up. Plant your bulbs in October, as soon as the soil has cooled down, to reap big rewards next spring. If you’ve never planted bulbs, select a spot in your yard that gets full sun during the day.

Interior prep

  • Prepare your furnace for winter. Visually inspect your furnace and replace the furnace filter before turning it on for the first time. If you haven’t had your furnace serviced in the last year, have a professional come out before the cold season begins.
  • Clean the fireplace and chimney. Clean out the fireplace and have the chimney professionally swept if needed. Make sure the flue is operating properly and the doors and shields are sound. Now is the time to stock up on firewood, too. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure the pilot is on and working.
  • Home safety check. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. Put together an emergency preparedness kit so that you are ready for winter power outages.

Once you finish with your autumn home checklist, you will be ready to relax in your warm, comfortable home, and enjoy the season.

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