5 Fall Maintenance Tips– How To Prepare for the Cooler Weather
09 Sep 2015
POSTED BY: Admin | Comments: 0

By: Don Epp


For many people September is a time to get back into routine and put summer behind you.  You know it is coming so why not plan and get ready for those cooler days ahead.  It all starts with being prepared. 


  1.  The first item to prepare is a list of emergency contacts and trusted contractors. Include such things as:


Who are you going to call if your furnace or hot water tank stops working?

Who do you call if you have a broken window?

Who do you call if your carbon monoxide detector is beeping? 


Familiarize everyone with how to respond in a maintenance emergency situation:


Do you know how to turn the water off to the sink, toilet, and building?

Do you know how to reset the GFCI electrical plug in the bathroom or to reset a tripped breaker?

Do you know how to change the batteries in the thermostat or smoke/CO detectors?


It is important to know who to call and what to do until a professional arrives.


  1. The exterior of your building also needs attention in fall.  The goal is to keep the cold weather outside and the warmth inside.  Check all your doors and windows to make sure the weather stripping seals properly and repair if necessary.  Look for openings around the foundation for holes where mice (and other pests) may want to come in to enjoy the warmth.  Even the smallest cracks and openings allow pests access to your home. Clearing debris from around the foundation is one way to prevent an easy path for pests to enter your house.


  1. Once the leaves finish falling it is time to clean the eaves troughs and make sure the downspouts can move the spring melt water away from the building.  A leaky eaves trough will turn into a slippery sidewalk in fall and spring. You can run some water off the roof to see if your eaves trough leak at the corners or joints. If you have window wells now is a good time to clean out the debris that may have settled in there.  It is also a good time to prune some tree branches and shrubs.  Remove branches that are rubbing against the building or that are touching the roof.


  1. With fall comes the end of gardening.  It is time to roll up and store the garden hose and blow out the underground sprinklers.  Make sure you remove the garden hose from the outside tap and turn the water off to the tap.  Clean up the flower beds and rake the leaves, it is easier to do it now then in spring.


  1. While storing your outside furniture and lawn maintenance equipment you can take inventory on your snow shovels and de-icing salt.  When the first snow hits you will want to be prepared.

Many of the homes I have visited have had problems with icy walkways and deteriorating sidewalks. Some ice melt products and over application are very damaging to sidewalks.  Choose a de-icing product that contains magnesium chloride.  It releases far fewer chlorides into the environment than rock salt or calcium chloride and causes the least amount of damage to your concrete sidewalk. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for maximum effect and safety.  As always prevention is the best remedy. Before applying the de-icing product shovel away as much snow and ice as possible. Apply sparingly in high foot traffic areas and assist the melting process by removing the slush and excess de-icer. 


It may be too early to be giving up on summer just yet but it is good to be prepared for those cooler days ahead, as they will come whether we like it or not.  As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  By preparing and preventing issues, you can save a lot of headache come spring time. 


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