October is a great month to check off your fall home maintenance tasks. As our regions transition into fall, you may have a lot of weekend projects you’re trying to get done before peak holiday season begins. In many regions, this is a great month to finish up outdoor projects before snow or inclement weather begins. Below are some other important tasks to consider this month. If you can’t get to them all, or are unable to do them yourself, be sure to look for a qualified professional on Porch!
Inside the home
- Insulate exposed pipes that may freeze in the winter. Pay special attention to plumbing and pipes in the garage, crawlspace and basement.
- Clean range hood filters, wash fan blades and housing. It’s a good habit to clean these several times a year and remove flammable grease.
- Deep clean the oven. Start with a clean oven before the heavy baking season begins. Here are some great non-toxic cleaning recipes to clean your kitchen.
- Deep clean the refrigerator and vacuum the condenser coils. It’s a healthy habit to regularly remove old food and clean the fridge, inside and out. Vacuum the condenser coils if you can reach them as this will make your appliance operate more efficiently. Read our cleaning tips here.
- Test the sump pump. If your basement relies upon a sump pump during the wet seasons, be sure to test it on a regular basis.
- Replace weatherstripping and caulking on doors and windows. A home can quickly lose heat in the winter through air leaks, resulting in a higher energy bill. Check exterior doors and windows to ensure they are properly sealed.
- Clean air conditioning filters. Cleaning the filters can help extend the life of this machine. While you’re at it, be sure to cover up your air conditioning unit prior to the winter season.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This monthly task is very important for the safety of your family. Before the season of candles, decorations, fireplace usage and cooking, be sure your alarms are working and that you have the right type of fire extinguishers for your home.
- Clean out the fireplace. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you should have a professional chimney sweep annually inspect and remove creosote inside the chimney. A professional can also inspect the outside of the chimney to make sure everything is in good working order.
Outside the home
- Shut off and blow out your sprinkler system, drain garden hoses and winterize outdoor faucets. Before your nighttime temperatures dip into the below freezing levels, you’ll want to winterize your exterior irrigation systems. Have the sprinkler system blown out by a professional who know how to do this safely. Drain the water from garden hoses and install inexpensive bibs or covers to your exterior faucets.
- Aerate the lawn and remove leaves. Lawns can absorb water, air and nutrients with the help of an aerating machine. These can be rented or you can have a landscaping company do this for you. Remember to rake leaves when they are dry and easy to pick up. Wet, soggy leaves can stifle your lawn and prohibit growth. Here are some ideas about what to do with all of your leaves.
- Clean and store BBQ and outdoor furniture for the winter. Your summer equipment and furniture will look much nicer next spring if you take the time to clean them and store them properly over the winter. Clean the grill, consider placing wood furniture legs up on bricks, clean off outdoor fabrics, and store things out of direct rain.
- Clean roof and remove moss, leaves and branches. At least once a year you’ll want to remove debris from the roof. Organic materials like leaves and branches can encourage mold and moss growth. This moss can eventually push up shingles and lead to damage to the roof system. Apply moss treatment if necessary. Never climb a wet or steep roof; consider hiring a pro to avoid a dangerous fall.
- Clean gutters and downspouts, clear blockages. Check the exterior ground to ensure downspouts are draining properly and that ground isn’t flooding.
- Install or check heat tapes if your roofing and gutter system requires it. Heat tapes can prevent dangerous icicles from forming in the winter and can even help prevent ice dams. Check with a professional about the right system for your roof and to ensure correct electrical connections.
- Replace outdoor light bulbs if necessary. Nights are getting darker earlier, and if your walkway or stairs aren’t properly lit you could be in for a fall. Use the right type of bulb for outdoor use.
- Cut back tree limbs and branches that contact your house or power lines. If you live in a region of fall or winter wind storms, or even ice storms, you’ll want to make sure that nearby branches or trees are safe from falling on your home. It’s always a good idea to consult an arborist to make sure the tree is healthy.
Need more tips for October? Check out our Winterizing articles here.
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