With the weather taking a noticeable turn toward cooler weather, comes new responsibilities around your home to keep it in tip top shape. Autumn, with its crisp air and relief from the heat of summer, is one of the best times of the year (at least for those of us who love apple cider, pumpkin patches, hot cocoa, curling up in front of the fire, and pumpkin spice everything). It is also a great time of year to take care of some projects to prepare for the colder months ahead.
The crisp autumn air drives many families inside for a cozy night in front of the fireplace. According to Zillow.com, homeowners should “clean out the fireplace, inspect the flue, and ensure the doors and seals are sound.” Soot and other gunk tend to clog up your chimney after a while and should be cleaned out regularly to prevent fires. When inspecting your flue, you should be on the lookout for creosote buildup and blockages. Bhg.com says, “Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood.” This buildup, if left untreated, can lead to a chimney fire that can consume your home in a matter of minutes. A prime way to prevent any unwanted, fire-causing blockages such as bird nests, is to check and make sure your chimney cap is still securely in place. Don’t have one? Then maybe now is the time to invest in one. “Birds love to nest at the top of an unprotected flue” (bhg.com), and the debris they leave behind from their nests, feathers, and other waste can catch, ignite, and cause a fire inside of your chimney.
While already on your roof inspecting your roof and chimney for any signs of damage or missing chimney caps, make sure to give your gutters a thorough once over. With fall arriving, that also means the leaves will begin to fall, quickly accumulating in your yard and gutters. Keeping up with the leaves is not only good for your home’s curb appeal, but will also help keep your gutters in functional order and prevent any unwanted accidents when the temperatures become even colder. Huffpost.com states that “an overflowing gutter can cause damage to your house and turn your walkway into a frozen slip and slide.” Wondering how a gutter full of leaves can lead to a frozen walkway? A clogged gutter will cause an overflow of water to pour over the edge of the gutter rather than down the drainpipe, which will cause a buildup of water on your walkways and stress on your gutters. The stress on the gutter can cause the gutter itself to break as well as a host of other problems, including water damage to other areas of your home.
Some other fall projects to help spruce up your home and prepare it for the colder months, include planting some fall bulbs in preparation for spring flowers (hgtv.com), creating a wood pile for your (freshly cleaned!) fireplace, perform a maintenance check on your heating system to be sure it is functioning properly before the start of the heating season, and perform your home safety check. Keeping up with some fall home maintenance will not only help keep your home value from going down with the temperature, but will also help you and your family fully enjoy the fall season.