Fall Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home in Top Shape
The temperatures are dropping and leaves are falling, which means it’s time for your yearly Fall maintenance routine. If you are considering listing your home for sale this holiday season, you will want to make sure that it is running properly for viewings and inspections. Or maybe you’re a new homeowner and want to be prepared for those cold, winter months in Bloomington.
Whatever it may be, Griffin Realty is here to help. We’re sharing some of our best Fall maintenance tips for you to use so that you can stay ahead and feel confident in your home. Here’s your checklist:
Fall Maintenance Checklist
- Drain and disconnect the garden hose
- Close crawlspace vents
- Rake the lawn and compost the leaves
- Change batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide alarms
- Have the chimney inspected and swept
- Clean and inspect all heaters
- Clean furnace and change filters
Drain and disconnect the garden hose
As Fall approaches, you can stretch out regular watering and let rainfall help. But every once in a while, freezing water splits a hose open. You may have to replace a few cheap hoses, or maybe an expensive one or two (ouch!). That’s just wasted money because draining hoses is so quick and easy: Blast out the water with an air compressor or stretch them out on a sloped yard or driveway.
Close crawl space vents
As temperatures cool down, you will want to close your crawl space vent to reserve energy and prevent water intrusion. Leaving the vents open will allow cold air to come through which can result in overrunning your heating system. It can also allow moisture to filter in and cause a breeding ground for mold.
The simplest way to close your crawl space vents is by installing vent covers or using specially-made blocks to plug them from the outside. Just remember to remove the plugs when the weather turns mild in the spring.
Rake lawn and compost leaves
Raking is a standard cleaning activity associated with Fall. While it is beautiful to see all the leaves glistening as they fall slowly from the trees, it can be quite a tedious chore to keep up with throughout the season. Raking is important because it prevents fungus from growing and the possibility of grass dying from being covered by piles of damp leaves. Make time to rake to avoid increasing the work. We recommend investing in a quality leaf sweeper like this one!
Once you have those leaves raked up, you can compost them. Place them directly in your compost bin or fill in plastic yard waste bags. Mix with grass cuttings, moisten the contents, poke a few holes in the bags, leave aside for a year or so. This will help to produce a nice compost for future gardening and energy conservation.
If you want to avoid raking, you can mulch the leaves with a mower by switching out the cutting blades with mulching blades. By mulching leaves instead of raking, you treat your lawn to natural fertilizer and beneficial organic matter. Plus, mulching leaves into your lawn can discourage weed seeds from germinating and reduce common lawn weeds such as dandelions and crabgrass significantly.
Change batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide alarms
Fire and carbon monoxide alarms are crucial resources for reducing injury and preventing fire deaths. According to the Indiana State Government, “Alarms should be replaced every eight to 10 years, and for smoke alarms that use traditional batteries, batteries should be changed once a year.” It’s a good idea to have your alarms replaced if you are selling your home as well as if you are moving into a new home and don’t know how old the alarms are.
Service your heating systems
Whether you have an HVAC system or space heaters, it’s crucial that you have them serviced yearly, especially before the weather gets too cold and you have to start using them. This can help prevent dangerous hazards such as fires. If you don’t plan to hire someone to come in, you can simply dust, wipe, and change filters as needed in all your heating sources yourself.
Have the chimney inspected and swept
If you plan to use your fireplace this season, it’s important to make sure your chimney is also prepared beforehand. The NFPA recommends having chimneys inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Fall is a great time of year to do this because most heating fires happen during the months of December and January so having this done will help you feel at ease when you do decide to have a fire. All Swept Up Chimney Services and Ye Old Chimney Sweep are local businesses with more than 35 years of experience serving Bloomington area communities.
Schedule furnace checkup
Another good idea is to do a routine tune-up of your furnace. Here, you will want to check the filters and change them if they are dirty and brush the ash from the chamber. We recommended finding a heating service that includes furnace maintenance yearly. A technician will be able to fully inspect the furnace and inform you of what needs to be done. At the very least, change your furnace filter.
Clean the gutters
Cleaning the gutters is a big job, but one that needs to be done in the Fall to avoid trapped ice and frozen debris. Freezing water can ruin and ben your gutters, prevent them from draining well, and can keep standing water on your roof. After you clear the leaves and debris from your gutters, use a high-pressure hose to clear any other dirt and to make sure the water flows well from the drains.
Stay on top of maintenance to maximize your home’s value
Staying on top of regular maintenance is the secret to maximizing the value when selling your home. Regularly maintaining your home minimizes the stress and work that needs to be done when it’s time to list. Not only this, but it also feels good knowing that your home is in the best possible condition for your comfort and safety. For more tips and tricks for selling your home, check out our blog.
Lean on G!
If you are wanting to list your home this year, consider Griffin Realty for all your selling needs. We’ve been serving the Bloomington community for over 20 years and are dedicated to providing excellent service, tailored to you so that you can have the best experience possible. Contact us today to get started!