Get your house and yard ready for pumpkin-spice season
Autumn has so much going for it – baseball playoffs, start of hockey season, sweaters and pumpkin spice. But along with that awesomeness comes colder, wetter weather.
Sure, you’re in the right state of mind to enjoy a nice nutmeggy latte and the kids being back in school, but are your home and yard ready to welcome the change in seasons?
Not to worry. You’ve still got time to both enjoy the fall colours and prep your place for the avalanche of leaves to come. Check out the following suggestions and you’re on your way to ensuring your property will withstand the coming weather.
If you can get even a few of these things done, just think how smart you’ll feel when it’s a dark, rainy night in late November.
Inside your home
Check smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. Safety first! Now that your furnace, heaters and woodstoves are back in action, it’s a good time to ensure all your detectors and extinguishers are functioning properly. Check batteries and expiry dates at least once a year.
Draft-proof doors and windows. Weatherstripping and door sweeps will keep the cold out and the heat in, saving energy and money in the process. And don’t forget about any gaps around the garage door. (Because you know that the mice won’t!)
Check furnace/gas heater, replace filters. If it has been a while since you had your heating system checked, you may want to call in the pros. At the very least, ensure your furnace has new filters.
Ready your woodstove/fireplace. Either call in the cleaner or do it yourself, but make sure you start the wood-burning season with an unclogged chimney. Check the seal around the stove door and look for any cracks around glass doors.
Prepare items for power outages/restock emergency kits. When was the last time you looked at your emergency kit? Now’s the time to check over items and replace old water, expired foods or pooped-out batteries. Don’t have one? Check out this list from the Red Cross.
Readying your home’s exterior for fall
Clean and straighten your gutters and downspouts. Yuck…nobody likes this one, but to avoid leaks and ice dams later in winter, this one is important. Clean out the leaves, moss and needles, flush it with water, check the joints and tighten any loose brackets.
Inspect your roof. Make sure your roof is in good shape to avoid any problems later in the year. Look for missing or loose shingles, tiles or fascia.
Protect outdoor faucets from freezing. Shut off water to exterior faucets to avoid having your pipes freeze or burst and put insulation around them.
Seal gaps to avoid critters seeking shelter. Check your foundation for small holes or gaps and fill or cover them. Not only can openings allow entryway for rodents, but also water can get in, freeze and cause more cracks or mould.
Check stairs, railings, decks and walkways. Watch for any loose steps or railings that can lead to mishaps. Think about areas that may get slippery or icy and do something about it before the weather turns.
Test outdoor lights. Lights can help with safety on those long, dark evenings. Replace any burnt-out bulbs while it’s still light out.
Out in the yard
Rake, cut, fertilize, aerate, seed the lawn. Now’s the time to work it, so it looks good next spring and summer.
Bring in outdoor furniture, winterize your barbecue. A little care goes a long way in getting more life out of your furniture and grill.
Drain garden hoses, deal with in-lawn sprinkler. Empty and roll up your hoses so that they can be used again next summer. And make sure your sprinkler doesn’t freeze over resulting in pipes expanding in the cold months.
Prune trees and shrubs, protect plants that need it. Cut away any dead, tired or wandering branches, lay mulch around plants that need more insulation and plant a few bulbs for spring.
Okay, time to start plugging away. Tick off a couple items over the next few weekends and before you know it, you’ll be done. Then you can make yourself an apple pie and settle back to watch the World Series!
For other house-and-homey information, visit the blog section of my website. Questions about real estate opportunities in the Valley? Feel free to contact me, browse Comox Valley real estate and MLS listings on my website or follow me on Facebook.