Just because summer got off to a slow start this year is no excuse to neglect fall home maintenance. Sure, lazing by the pool, soaking up the last rays of summer sun is important but take a couple of days to prep your home now and you can relax knowing you’re ready for anything autumn and winter can bring.
- Keeping the weather outside.
Although fall is one of the best seasons in Dallas, it can also bring wind, rain and even snowstorms. While the weather is pleasant, check your roof shingles to see if any curling, loose or missing ones need to be replaced, paying extra attention to roof valleys where rainfall and snow can collect. Same thing if your roof is tiled; check for broken or chipped tiles and replace where necessary.
- Don’t overlook the gutters.
It must be called “fall” for a reason. Gutters take the brunt of falling leaves in the autumn and into the winter. By cleaning them out now, you can rest easy there won’t be a problem later in the year. Don’t forget the downspouts. A trowel or shovel will remove leaf solids and for the final touch, finish with a pressure wash. When the gutters are squeaky clean, check that the rivets and gutter spikes are solid and look for any potential leaks.
- Don’t forget to switch (blades).
One basic strategy to prep your home for cold weather is to change the direction of your ceiling fans. In summer, you’ll want your blades turning counter-clockwise, blowing cooler air down into the room. When the temperatures drop, switching the blades to turn clockwise will draw cooler air up to the ceiling and push the warm air down.
- Wake up your windows.
While the weather’s still warm enough to have your windows open it’s a good time to give them a thorough cleaning. Sparkling windows will maximize the natural light in your home as the days get shorter and darker. At the same time you can check for any leaks and cracks or gaps in the seals and caulk and weather-strip where needed. While you prep your home, you can check all the window locks are working to keep your home secure.
- Packing summer away.
Tidy up the garage and storage shed, ready to pack away summer accessories and gear. Clean any furniture by wiping it down and hosing it off. Make sure everything is properly dry before putting it away. Garden hoses should be drained and coiled before storing. Move your fall and winter home maintenance tools to where you can get to them easily. Don’t be caught unprepared with a broken snow shovel or a damaged rake when you least expect it.
- Paint projects in the pipeline?
Not everyone will consider a painting project as part of prepping your home for fall and winter. But surprisingly, the end of summer is a perfect time to do just that. The worst of the heat and humidity are over but it’s warm enough to keep the windows open while you work, making the job more pleasant.
Now’s the time to freshen up your décor before cooler temperatures arrive and get that new look in time for the holidays.
- No mudroom?
Sadly, the mudroom is disappearing; once the perfect place for wet boots and raincoats, this space was an essential feature of every home. The good news is that if you have an entryway, you can still make a functional spot for ditching that outdoor gear.
By adding a place to sit when shedding shoes and some hooks for coats, you can designate a space that will encourage everyone to leave the mud and slush at the door. Additional cubbies or baskets will add storage space for shoes and boots. And, hey presto, no more muddy footprints or dirty carpets when it’s wet outside!
When you prep your home for the cooler months to come, you’re sacrificing a small slice of summer for winter peace of mind.