10 Steps to Prepping Your Home This Fall
It’s FALL YALL!!!
Sooo that means Pumpkin Spiced everything is out. Personally I am not a huge fan but know so many of you are. It’s supposed to be Fall now, even though it will continue to FEEL like summer for another month or so here in New Orleans.
So while you start to break out your boots and sweaters and sweat until November, its still not a bad time to get your HOME prepped for the Fall months to come.
I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of cold weather temperatures either but I do love Fall weather. ” I call “cold” anything below 40degrees. So before its too cold for you to get outside and work out around the house, start now while its warm and get prepped
I’ve got 10 tips for you
Lets start outside:
1) Clean your gutters and downspouts
Even though our leaves won’t change into beautiful colors of orange, yellow and red, our leaves still fall off the trees here in New Orleans. When you feel like all the leaves have fallen, take some time to clean your gutters out really well. Hire someone, pull the leaves and gunk out by hand or get a blower on top of your roof. (Just be safe when doing so) Remove all leaves and debris. Look at your gutters from the street and make sure they aren’t sagging. While you are pulling out the debris look for holding water and tighten all downspouts. Downspouts need to extend at least 5feet away from your home to prevent future issues with the foundation. You can find downspout extensions fairly cheeply at lowes for $10 or so.
2) Trims your trees and prune your plants
The end of the fall season is the best time to trim your plants because it is the end of the growing season but some of you may want to get in the ball before the busy holidays Trim all bushes, trees and plants 3 feet away from your home to prevent rubbing and wearing damage. This is also prevent moisture from dripping on the your home causing damage.
3) Eyeball your roof and check flat roofs for standing water
The roof of our homes seems to be the one thing people rarely check until you see water dripping through the ceiling. While you are outside trimming bushes and cleaning out gutters, take a good look at your roof. If you see shingles starting to curl, nails poking up, missing shingles, rust on flashing, it may be a good idea to have a professional come look at your roof too. Small repairs can go a long way. Keep in mind the age of your roof too. If you have a 20year shingle, typical life span in the New Orleans heat is about 15years. As you get closer to that 15year mark, if may warrant checking it several times a year. Flat Roofs have a shorter life span. After hard rains, check the roof occasionally for standing water.
4) Make exterior repairs and seal cracks
While you are walking around looking at your roof, take a look around your exterior for any cracks, or other exterior repairs that need to done. Seal cracks around your windows with caulk. Be sure to seal other cracks around loose wood or any hole you can see. You would be surprised how small of a hole a rodent can get through trying to stay warm
5) Buy supplies to wrap your pipes when needed
So it seems like every year when we get a hard “cold/freeze” here in New Orleans, we go crazy and pipe wrapping supplies is cleared off the shelves of hardware stores.. Its like a rainy day at Jazz Fest and you cant find boots anywhere. So start now. While you are making a trip to Lowes or Home Depot, buy some pipe wrapping. Its cheep and easy to store so you have it when its needed.
6) Have your furnace/heater and A/C cleaned and serviced
Our heaters aren’t used much here in New Orleans but they still need to be cleaned and serviced. This is a good time of year to have your whole HVAC system cleaned and serviced, (you should do it now and once in the Spring.) After some heavy use through the summer, your ac could use some maintenance and get your heater ready for winter.
7) Check your safety devices
We usually hear about checking safety devices when we turn our clocks back but lets get it done now. It takes just a couple of mins to test your smoke detectors. Push those buttons and make sure they beep loud and clear for you. Buy extra batteries for when you hear that pesty beep that starts always in the middle of the night. You’ll thank me later.
8) Clean dryer vent
I’l admit this is something I don’t do enough and it is an extreme fire hazard. Clean your dryer vent. Buy this on amazon or stick your vacuum extender up the exterior vent to get all that extra build up.
Here is one i found on amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Deflecto-Cleaning-Remover-Extends-Synthetic/dp/B00IB4BMDQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538420855&sr=8-3&keywords=dryer+vent+cleaner+kit
9) Add weather stripping
Weathering stripping is essential to not wasting energy in your home. This time of year is a good time to check weatherstripping around your doors. Is it dried or cracked? time to replace it. also look around the seal of your windows
10) Deep clean your kitchen
So this last tip, isn’t necessarily to get ready for winter but it always feels so good when its done. It should be done a couple times a year, so while I am reminding you to do other things around your home, get this done too. This is going to take the majority of your time but the glowing sparkling kitchen will thank you. Clean your oven, vent and stove top. Haven't cleaned your microwave in a while? Use this lemon and water hack to get it done with ease.
Love your home as much as it loves you by taking a weekend to get prepped in the Fall for the Winter months to come.