A bit of home maintenance in the fall can prevent costly repairs this winter or next spring. According to Consumer Reports.org, failing to do those important chores could cost you thousands.
Here’s what you should be on your fall to-do list.
Prep your lawn: Now is the time to fertilize. The resulting new growth will go a long way in protecting grass roots during the winter, and will produce a lush green lawn come spring.
Clean those gutters: It may be tedious and somewhat labor intensive, but clearing out all those leaves is worth it. According to Consumer Reports, clogged gutters not only cause siding and foundation issues, but could potentially cause leaking and damage to the roof should water freeze in the gutter. If you are not a DIYer, it may be worth paying professionals an average price of $300 to do this annual job.
Pack up outdoor gardening tools: Do one final pruning of your plants, then put your tools away. This includes everything disconnecting garden hoses from faucets, draining your sprinkler systems, and cleaning out and prepping your lawn mower for a long winter hibernation. Before storing the lawn mower, use it to transform fallen leaves into mulch. They will serve as an added layer of protection against winter damage to your lawn.
Inspect and maintain: Now is the time to seal leaks around windows, door trim, siding and outlets. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25% to 30% of your heating costs literally go out the window due to drafts. Do a quick visual check of your roof. Any loose or damaged shingles? Take a walk around the house and make sure water is draining properly. Get chimneys, HVAC units, furnaces and air ducts/vents serviced. Fix any cracks in your driveway. Change the air filters and batteries for all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices. Replenish your winter supplies and make sure that snow blower works.