Now that Fall is quickly approaching, there are many tasks on our Fall home to do list. With the weather getting cooler and the days getting shorter, take haste in getting these items done before Old Man Winter makes his annual visit. Here are some of our tips:
1. Rake Leaves
To make quicker work of collecting leaves from a large lawn, rake the fallen foliage onto a large plastic tarp. Then bag it or add it to your compost pile. Keeping leaf debris away from your house will also help keep unwanted pests from coming into your home.
2. Trim Tree Limbs
Dead limbs are more likely to fall during winter storms, making them a potential safety hazard. Have an arborist inspect and trim large trees.
3. Clean Gutters & Downspouts
Wait until most of the leaves have fallen to schedule a rain gutter cleaning. Inspect gutters and downspouts for cracks and loose parts and make repairs as needed.
4. Tidy the Mudroom
The back-to-school (and work) flurry can leave the mudroom looking as if a hurricane hit it. Take some time to regain sanity — sort through papers and put away stray summer items and extra coats. Clean the floors and invest in a new doormat if needed. Keep a recycling basket near the entrance to make sorting mail and school papers easier, and dedicate a tote or bin for items that need to be returned (like library books).
5. Use Natural Fall Decor
Pumpkins and gourds, fresh heirloom apples, quinces, pomegranates, figs and fall foliage all make wonderfully simple decor. Instead of spending a ton on money at the craft store, try incorporating dried leaves from your yard. Make sure they are dry and mold free before bringing them into your home.
6. Maintain Your Fireplace
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, it’s essential for safety that you have it serviced before lighting the first fire of the season. If you haven’t done so already, schedule an appointment to have your chimney inspected and, if necessary, cleaned.
7. Check Safety Devices
Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house and replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on the kitchen fire extinguisher and replace it if needed.
8. Gift List Prep
It may seem like the holidays are a long way off — but that’s why it pays to start getting organized now. Start a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year. Then, as ideas strike, jot them down on your list. You can also use your list to keep track of a holiday gifting budget. And if you want to make any gifts by hand, October is a great time to get started — handmade gifts always seem to take longer to make than expected.
9. Cover Outdoor Grills & Furniture
If you plan to leave your patio furniture or grill outside through the fall and winter, cover them well and stow them beneath an overhang that will protect them from rain and snow. Even if you live in a mild climate, covering your grill between uses is a good idea to protect the finish.
10. Shut Off & Drain Exterior Water Sources
Disconnect, drain and roll hoses before storing them for the winter. Shut off the water supply to exterior faucets to prevent frozen pipes. Doing this is essential to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. If not, come Spring, you will have an unwanted shower in your home.
If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.