How to Get the House Ready for Fall
Got your decorative gourds at the ready? Counting down the days until sweater weather arrives? Or are you hoping to make the most of the last few rays of summer sunshine? Whatever your autumn attitude, now is the time of year to prepare your home — inside and out — for the coming season. Investing a little effort in preventative maintenance will pay big dividends, helping you avoid expensive inefficiencies and emergency repairs.
Here are some of our favorite fall-readiness home hacks.
Break Out The Cozy Bedding
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it will save you from shivering while you dig through your linen closet in the middle of the first frigid night of the season. So unpack those down comforters, flannel sheets and wool throws now. Air them out, wash them and then store them somewhere convenient.
Tend To The Fireplace And Chimney
You haven't used it for months, but that doesn't mean your chimney isn't in need of a cleaning. In fact, a dirty chimney is a potential fire hazard. While you can clear out ash and charred wood from the fireplace yourself, you'd be wise to have a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean your pipe, flue, dampers, crown, cap and liners. They'll also look for bird or squirrel nests and note any cracks that might allow smoke (or carbon monoxide) to back up into your home. Whether you have a wood or gas fireplace, a chimney cleaning is an autumn must.
Clean The Gutters
All year-round, your gutters divert gallon after gallon of rainwater away from your home’s exterior. In doing so, they help protect your roof, landscaping and foundation. That's why it's so important to keep everything unclogged and flowing smoothly. DIY the task with a sturdy ladder and some work gloves, or hire a service to remove leaves, nests and other debris. Should you discover any leaks in the process, have them repaired ASAP.
Put Away Patio Furniture
Your summer patio furniture probably isn’t built to withstand cold weather. Pack it up, but give it a good scrub-down first. Remove and clean any cushions, then wash and dry the furniture frames. Finally, store everything away from the elements (in a shed, garage or basement) until basking and barbecue weather returns.
Stock Up On Firewood
Now is the time to start collecting firewood. It needs to be dry and anything but green. You’ll also want to keep a firewood rack outside and a carrier to transport it to the fireplace. Cover your firewood to keep it from getting soggy. Also, be sure to store it away from the house for safety reasons — and to avoid attracting pests like insects and rodents. Give them more rather than fewer steps to take from the woodpile to your living room. When Jack Frost visits, you’ll be glad you did.
Plant Fall Bulbs For Spring Flowers
April showers may bring May flowers, but so do fall plantings! As long as we're talking bulbs likes tulips, irises, daffodils, hyacinths and lilies, that is. These lovely blossoms thrive in cool soil that receives full sun. Just put aside some time between now and Halloween to dig in your yard and lay the groundwork for a colorful spring.