Fall is right around the corner! The temperatures are dropping, the evenings are getting longer, and Halloween popup shops are turning up everywhere you look. Before you bring out the pumpkin decorations and flannel throw pillows, complete these fall home maintenance tasks to prep for the months ahead.
1. Clean your sump pump. Fall means rain, which means your sump pump is likely to be more active this season. To clean the sump pump, remove the lid and shop-vac any sediment from the crock. Once it’s clean, pour a 5-gallon bucket of water into the crock to make sure the sump pump is functioning properly. Take care of this task before autumn’s rainy season begins so your sump pump is prepared for the wet weather.
2. Seal the exterior concrete. If you didn’t complete this task during the summer, fall is the perfect time to get it done! Sealing the exterior concrete protects it from salt and ice removers, making fall the perfect time to complete this task. Make sure you seal the concrete when it’s dry outside!
3. Clean or change the furnace and humidifier filters. This is an ongoing task that you’ll want to complete once a month during the fall and winter. Keeping the furnace and humidifier filters clean will help the units function more efficiently. You’ll be using them a lot in the upcoming cold and dry months!
4. Winterize your hose bibs. Disconnect the garden hoses from the outside faucets and drain and close your outside faucets from the manifold labeled in the basement. Once the hoses are disconnected and outside faucets are closed, go outside and open all of the hose bibs to drain off any water in the pipes. The hose bib can be closed again once all of the water has drained out.
5. Clean your gutters and downspouts. You don’t want your gutters and downspouts to clog in the winter or back up during an autumn rainstorm, so it’s important to make sure they’re clear from obstruction before the rainy season begins. To clean the gutter, take a garden hose and water the gutters to push the debris out. Watch for any obstruction to drainage and clean, as necessary.
6. Test every smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. Don’t forget to change the batteries if you didn’t in the spring!
7. Inspect the weather-stripping around all doors. As the seasons change and weather gets colder, you may need to make minor adjustments to door catches to create a tighter seal between the door and weather-stripping.
8. Hire a licensed contractor to winterize your irrigation system. Make sure you do this before the first freeze!
9. Remove the air supply grills and vacuum inside the ducts. Be careful when reaching inside ducts — sharp screws are used to attach sections of pipe.