The first day of fall is right around the corner! But before the weather gets colder and pumpkin-spiced everything starts hitting the shelves again, it’s time to tackle a few home projects and prepare your home for the season ahead.
From cleaning out your gutters to packing up your grill, there are several end-of-summer chores that are necessary to help get your home fall-ready. In fact, we’ve rounded up a few ideas below!
Clean out your gutters
While it isn’t anyone’s favorite chore, cleaning the gutters of your home is absolutely necessary before the leaves start to fall! Thoroughly removing all the leaves and debris from your gutter can help prevent water damage to your home caused by overflowing. You can clean them out by getting up on a ladder, scooping out leaves and debris and flushing the gutters and downspout with water until you are certain they are functioning properly. But be careful! Cleaning gutters can be dangerous work if you don’t have the proper equipment. If you can, consider hiring someone else to clean them for you!
Inspect your driveways, walkways & patios
As the weather cools, asphalt and concrete have the tendency to crack and move. So before fall hits, take an hour or two to inspect your driveways, walkways and patios for any small cracks or loose pavement. Then fill any cracks with concrete or sand to help prevent them from getting bigger. Small cracks can turn into massive problems if they are left untreated in the fall and winter, so taking the time to take care of them now is a good idea!
Prepare your heating and air systems
It’s going to start getting chilly in Omaha! Make sure your heater can handle the pressure by changing the air filter—which should be done seasonally. In addition, check and replace other filters throughout your home that may have collected excessive dust and pet dander over the past few months. This simple chore can keep your heating system working perfectly throughout the cold months and, because your heater won’t have to work as hard, it can even save you some money by being more energy-efficient!
Clean off all summer toys
Beach supplies, pool floaties, slip and slides—these are just a few summer essentials that you probably won’t be needing for the next six months. Get them ready for storage by wiping them all down with an all-purpose cleaner and organizing them into bins (just be sure to let them dry first so they don’t grow mold). This will help ensure that when you are ready to take them out next summer, they’ll be waiting for you, clean and prepped for hot weather fun once again!
Scrub your outdoor furniture
There’s nothing worse than opening up the shed on a warm day in March to find your summer favorites still covered in dirt and sand from the previous year. You can prevent that headache by properly cleaning and storing your outdoor furniture before packing it away! Wipe down any furniture with a mixture of warm water and dish soap to help remove built-up debris. You can also spot-clean any outdoor cushions with the same dish soap mixture, just be sure to give it some time to air-dry.
Prepare your grill for storage
While we wouldn’t blame you for keeping your grill out all year long, we understand why you would want to pack it up for next year. But before you roll it away, take some time to scrub it down first to avoid moldy leftover food scraps. Cleaning your grill is a pretty simple process. First, just heat up your grill to help loosen any grime and grease. Then scrape the grate with a heavy-duty grill scraper to remove the top layer before cooling your grill down again. You can also soak your grates in soapy water and scrub with a sponge. Then, use a degreaser to clean up the grates as well as the grill’s exterior and—voila!—it’s as good as new!
Clean your lawn and gardening tools
Make sure your lawn and gardening tools are ready for the next gardening season by properly cleaning and storing your tools before the summer ends! Clean any caked dirt and mud off of your tools; wash your gardening gloves; empty your lawn mower and sharpen the blades; hose off your hoes and shovels; and store them in a waterproof shelter to avoid any rusting and other damage.
Check your windows for drafts
A poorly sealed window can make all the difference on a cold day. Not only will it cause your home to lose heat, but your heater will have to work harder to keep it warm in your home, which means your energy bill could skyrocket! Don’t worry though; by taking the time to walk through your home and check the seals and caulking around window frames, you can prevent any issues later. If you’re unable to repair the weatherstripping completely, consider purchasing a window draft stopper or using interior storm inserts to help on extra frigid days.
Prune any overgrowth
Before fall arrives, be sure to trim any overgrown spots from your trees and bushes! This can help your foliage come back stronger next year and can mean less raking for you once the leaves start falling. But while it seems as simple as chopping off a few branches, trimming your trees and bushes is slightly more complicated. Landscapers recommend trimming on cooler or less humid days to help prevent infection to your plants. You’ll also want to keep an eye on any diseased or dead branches and remove those first before moving on to healthier parts of the plant.
Have your wood stove or fireplace cleaned
If you’re lucky enough to have a wood burning fireplace or a wood stove—make sure it’s ready for the job of heating your home all fall and winter long! We recommend calling in a professional to inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney before building any fires. You should also take some time to make sure you have enough wood stored up for your regular winter usage plus about 20 percent, just in case.
Sweep and organize your garage
After everything has been scrubbed and dusted, it’s time to make some space in your garage or shed! Organize all your gardening equipment, tools, summer toys and more into bins and bags and store them neatly in your garage. That way, once summer is back in full force once again, you don’t have to dig to find your favorite items. And, if needed, take this opportunity to sweep and lightly clean your garage floor to prepare it for the salt-covered tires and melted snow that is on its way!
What did we miss?
Do you have any end-of-summer home tips and tricks that our readers should know about? Let us know in the comments below!