In Middle Tennessee, fall is a breathtakingly beautiful place. Understandably, then, most of us want to spend fall out and about, enjoying the festivals, sights, and smells of our state. For homeowners, though, we have fall chores to complete before winter arrives. Our fall home checklist below will help you weatherproof your home, improve its energy efficiency, and help you tackle your tasks one step at a time.
1.) Clean Out or Replace Gutters
It’s easy to take your gutters for granted; when they’re working, you hardly notice them. However, even one season with clogged gutters will increase the risk of foundation damage and dry rot within your home.
This fall, either climb up and clean out your gutters, or hire a service to handle it for you.
2.) Fully Drain Outdoor Spouts and Hoses
Middle Tennessee doesn’t get a lot of snow, but we do see plenty of freezing nighttime temperatures. In order to prevent pipe damage from water expansion, drain outdoor spouts and hoses before the frost hits.
3.) Apply Lawn Fertilizer
Your lawn won’t grow much in the fall and winter, making this the perfect time to fertilize its roots. You can prevent fall and winter damage and promote spring and summer growth all in one easy step!
4.) Aerate and Seed Your Lawn
In our climate, early fall is an optimal time to aerate and seed your lawn. Walking and playing on a lawn will pack down soil over time resulting in reduced water and nutrients reaching your lawn’s roots. Compacted soil is easily remedied by aerating, but incorrectly timed aeration will stress your lawn.
September 15th is National Aerate Your Lawn Day, so mark your calendars for this important homeowner’s task!
5.) Rake or Shred Your Leaves
It used to be conventional wisdom to remove leaves from the yard. While this is still a perfectly good approach, it’s now known that leaves can act as a mulch, promoting yard health. If you want to leave your leaves where they fall, no worries! Consider shredding them, though, and spreading them evenly around your yard and around the roots of your trees and shrubs.
6.) Trim Back Trees and Shrubs
Speaking of trees and shrubs, take some time to examine the trees around your home. If you see any branches that would damage your home if they were to be blown down in a windstorm, now’s the time to prune them back.
If you don’t feel confident handling the arbor labor, do call a tree service company to handle the job.
You might also want to trim back shrubs; they’ll take off growing come spring, so reigning them in now can save you some labor during the warmer months.
7.) Store Outdoor Furniture
If you leave it out during fall and winter, your outdoor furniture will take a beating from wind, rain, and ice. To prevent weathering and mildew damage, bring your outdoor furniture into your garage or shed.
8.) Repair Outdoor Cracks
Walk around your property looking for cracks in your driveway, walkways, porch, and patio. When it’s rainy and freezing, these cracks will fill with water, which will then freeze, causing tiny cracks to expand.
To prevent greater damage during the winter, repair even hairline cracks during the fall.
9.) Eliminate Critter Entry Points
Rats, mice, and squirrels will all be looking for warm, dry shelter when the weather turns nasty. Your home will seem as inviting to them as it does to you, and these rodents can squeeze themselves through impossibly tiny cracks to get inside.
Look for any gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior and fix them now. Your best defense is caulk, weather stripping, and drywall patching. If you identify any cracks that you don’t feel confident tackling, hire a local TN business and they’ll have it patched up in a flash.
10.) Check for Drafts
After you’ve repaired any cracks you can find, take a sheet of paper and walk around your home’s interior looking for drafts. If you find any spaces through which outdoor air intrudes, repair or close them. Caulk, weather stripping, and well-fitting doors are key.
Your energy bills in the fall and winter will be much higher if you are battling to keep your air warm as cold air is rushing in through drafty doors and windows.
11.) Change Air Filters
Experts recommend changing air filters at least every three months, making the arrival of a new season a great time to complete this quick task. A clean filter will make your HVAC more effective and reduce dust and allergens within your home.
12.) Clean Out Dryer Vents
Head outside and clean out your dryer’s outdoor vent. Lint buildup here will make your dryer less effective, increasing your energy bills, and increasing your risk of a house fire.
13.) Drain Your Water Heater
Sediment and mineral buildup in your water heater could reduce its efficiency by a whopping 50%. Drain sediment buildup from the holding tank and flush out your water heater to improve its efficiency and prolong your water heater’s life.
14.) Check Detector Batteries
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are lifesaving devices all year long, but especially so during the colder months. Before the cold snap hits, make sure you have fresh batteries and working detectors throughout your home.
15.) Schedule HVAC Service
Every year, HVAC service companies are booked up when temps reach freezing or sweltering. Beat the rush and ensure prompt service by scheduling your HVAC service at the beginning of fall.
16.) Service Your Chimney
If your home has a chimney, schedule or perform a sweep this fall before you plan to use it. Doing so will also prevent critters from making a nest above the debris that can accumulate throughout the year.
Thank you for visiting Village! We hope you have a very happy autumn here in Middle Tennessee.