by Kimberly Blackford
Fall is just like spring and can be considered a somewhat a “transitional” season, wedged between summer and winter and taking people from one extreme to the next seasonally. And, just like spring, the fall is the perfect time to get your house ready for the cold that winter brings. The weather is still pleasant; the breezes still warm and carrying out those outdoor household tasks seem hardly like a chore.
Besides raking leaves, what should you be doing as a homeowner each fall to gear up for winter? Are there things that you should be doing to your home and backyard that you are aren’t aware of?
Take a look at the following outdoor tasks that should be performed each fall to get your home ready for the cold months of winter coming soon.
Before the weather gets downright nasty, you may want to focus on the outdoor projects first, so start any of your fall cleaning with the outdoors and then move indoors as the days gets shorter and colder.
Below are some tips for getting your yard and the outside of your home Fall ready.
Deck and Patio Areas - Before the water in the hose gets freezing cold, hose down all of the furniture and dry it off. If you have outdoor furniture covers, then cover all the pieces of furniture staying outdoors. If you store pieces indoors in a basement, garage or other storage space, then this is the time to bring them in. Don’t forget about storing pots and planters also. If water gets into the soil and then freezes, it will expand and crack leaving you with no planting accessories for next spring. Do yourself a favor now and bring them in along with any hanging baskets after the plants and bedraggled flowers are removed.
Garage Space - If you’re like many homeowners, most of your summer toys/sporting equipment, landscape equipment and gardening items have invaded your garage throughout the summer months and are in the forefront of your mind. This is the ideal time to reorganize the garage and install bicycle brackets for hanging the bicycles overhead. In addition, store other sporting equipment in the house or another storage area so you can freely access items such as the snow blower, driveway salt and other items you’ll need frequently in the winter.
Front and Backyard - Raking up any leaves that have fallen will keep your grass from dying over the winter. Then, weed and feed the lawn. The best time to do this is in the fall so that your grass will be thicker and greener in the spring. However, if you live in the South, and you intend to reseed, then do so in the spring. Then, give your lawn its final cutting. Cut it low and rake up the cuttings so that insects and bacteria don’t thrive in the clippings throughout the winter months.
Other Outdoor Areas You Can’t Neglect
If you have a built-in sprinkler system, most likely you will have to call the company who installed it to winterize it for the colder months. Be sure to call them early because, chances are, they will be booked quickly with appointments all around town. And, you never know when those temperatures will drastically dip below freezing one night!
If you don’t have a built-in sprinkler system, then make sure you have picked up any sprinklers and hoses that may still be lingering around the yard and unhook them from the outdoor faucets. Failing to do so can cause serious plumbing damage as the temperatures drop below freezing.
And, if you’re a pool owner, then schedule an appointment to have your pool properly closed or if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, tackle the chore yourself.
Gutter Control - take control of your gutters and downspouts and be sure all dead leaves, debris and pine needles are removed, so that the gutters can work properly during the cold, wet months ahead.
Now, that all the main outdoor clean-up has been done and the leaves have been cleared and hauled away, take a walk around the edge of your home and backyard and make sure you take the time to spot any cracks that need sealing or holes to fill. Critters like mice or insects will spot them even quicker than you will, as the weather grows cold. So, get them sealed fast to avoid any unwelcome indoor guests.
You should now be ready to settle in for the colder months with all of these tasks tended to. Now you can move on to the indoor chores for getting your home ready for the fall and winter before the holidays and entertaining rolls around!
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