More than 10 Great Fall Clean up Tips and Tricks
Fall is one of those times of year that cleaning up is a must – the holidays are a comin’. So we’ve gathered up tips and tricks you can use when tackling this fall’s cleanup.
Even if you don’t burn wood, your heating system probably has its own flue. It should be professionally checked—for nesting animals as well as residue buildup—and cleaned annually by chimney cleaning services.
What if you don’t: Creosote in the buildup can ignite, and the fire can spread to the rest of the house.
Via Consumer Reports
2. Test your outdoor lights
You don’t want to slip and fall on the ice in the winter, nor do you want to pay the unnecessary medical bills that will come as a result. So, make sure your outdoor lights are in working order for the winter ahead. Scrub them with a scouring pad and spray their frames with rust-repellent paint. Check to make sure the bulbs are working and replace them if needed. If you think the walkway needs more lighting, invest in additional as accent lighting — whether it’s along the pathway or around your trees and shrubs.
4. Check that HVAC
Besides ensuring that your climate-control system runs smoothly when it’s cold out (and also during the sweltering summer heat), having your HVAC serviced on a proper schedule can really reap you a big return on investment when time comes to sell.
“Having the major systems in the home serviced and inspected on a regular basis can save the homeowner money down the road if a minor problem is found and corrected before it becomes something bigger,” says Keith Thompson. Plus, being able to show a potential buyer that you’ve had the HVAC properly serviced while you lived in the home goes a long way when it comes time for negotiation.
Want to increase your home’s value even more? Get an energy audit before you sell and make some updates based on the results.
5. Make a cheap and easy pebble boot tray
6. A Winter Check List
7. Check the smoke detector
Some people wait until they reset their clocks during Daylight Savings Time to inspect their smoke detectors, but if you missed it in the spring, don’t wait another month—check them now. Press the button to make sure it beeps and replace batteries if necessary. Most smoke detectors signal with an automatic beep when the battery gets low, but it’s always good to check on an annual basis. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years; batteries should be replaced every six months.
8. The Importance of Pest Proofing
Pests certainly are not something that you want in your home, so it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent their entry. Aside from the general annoyance that pests provide, there are also more adverse effects.
Termites and carpenter ants have the ability to cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home due to their desire for wood. In the United States, termites cause an estimated 5 billion dollars in property damage. Diseases such as Lyme disease, dengue fever, salmonella and West Nile Virus are also spread through pests, most notably through mosquitoes, ticks and rodents
Once pests infest an indoor space, it becomes a much harder task to eliminate them on your own. In these instances, we recommend contacting a professional pest control company like Ehrlich for assistance. Contact Ehrlich online today to have a technician conduct a free pest inspection of your property.
9. Pack up your outdoor dining/activities gear
Summer is the time for barbecue parties, pool parties, family gatherings and similar activities. Once the fall season officially starts, you can pack up all your outdoor dining and activities gear. Before keeping those outdoor cushions, umbrellas and hammocks back in storage, make sure to clean them up properly.
Use waterproof furniture covers that will maintain the cleanliness of the items so that you can take them out of storage in pristine condition next summer. The one item that you can keep outside is your grill – cooking outdoors during winter will help warm you up and save you money on electrical bills.
10. Shut off the valves and drain water
Does your home’s exterior faucet have an internal shut off valve? Homes built in regions that regularly experience cold temperatures are likely designed to have an internal shut off valve for each exterior faucet. If your home has one you’ll want to:
- shut off the interior valve
- place a bucket under the drain cap and open that drain cap to drain the water out
- go outside and turn on the faucet (open the valve) until it runs dry
- once the water is cleared, turn off the exterior faucet (close the valve) and close the drain cap inside the house. This will ensure that the exterior faucet has no water sitting inside the sillcock or hose bib.
If your home does not have an internal shut off valve then you’ll want to make sure that the exterior faucet has no dripping water. Even a slow drip can add up to nearly 3,000 gallons of wasted water each year. In the winter this drip can easily freeze and block the hose bib.