The time for apple picking, bonfires, football, pumpkins, and beautiful foliage is here.  That’s right, fall has arrived!  As the seasons change, so do the needs of our homes, which is why it’s so important to make sure yours is ready for fall.  Knowing where to start can be confusing, which is why we’ve come up with these helpful tips!

  • Inspect the outside of the home. You’ll want to make sure there’s not anything that obviously needs to be fixed, especially on the roof.  Look for any missing or damaged shingles, and clean off any debris if it’s possible to do so safely.
  • Clean out the rain gutters.  These can get filled with leaves, nests, and twigs that can weigh it down and cause more damage if not cleaned regularly.
  • Trim bushes and trees.  You should also check trees for branches that are dead.  They can break at any moment, causing serious damage to your home.  Pay close attention to  branches that are really close to power lines too.
  • Turn off your irrigation system and put hoses and equipment inside your garage or shed.  Before temperatures drop, certain irrigation systems need to be drained.  Check with a professional if you aren’t sure about yours.
  • Store away lawn furniture.  Hate to bring this up, but once the weather gets cold you won’t be spending too much time outside. Clean off your outdoor furniture and store it somewhere dry for the winter to keep in the best condition.
  • Clean the chimney and stock up on fire wood.  There’s nothing cozier than a warm fire on a cold day!  Before you bring the fire wood inside, make sure the wood is completely dry.  Storing in inside is ideal but not always an option. If you have to store it outside, keep it covered in a dry place like a shed or under a tarp.
  • Check doors and windows for drafts. If you do find one, repair it easily with caulk.
  • Install storm windows and doors. Those screens are great in warm weather to let in a nice breeze, but will cost you in energy bills in the colder months.
  • Clean out your shed and/ or garage!  Throw anything you don’t need and any junk that has collected over the last few months.  Also, move all of your summer equipment to the back and bring up fall and winter items such as rakes, sleds and shovels.
  • Be prepared!  As we’ve seen here in Massachusetts, fall and winter can be very unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared.  Update your emergency kit, and if you have a snow blower or emergency generator, you should test them to make sure they’re working properly.  It’s also a good idea to buy extra gasoline for them, just in case.
  • Service your summer and winter equipment.  You’ll need to drain the fuel out of your lawnmower after its last use, and you may also want to have the blades sharpened so it’s ready to go again next spring.  If you have a snow blower, make sure it’s ready for use.  As we said, fall and winter can be unpredictable and you never know when we may get a storm!

Although it may not be your favorite way to spend the day, getting your home ready for the change of seasons is an important step that can save you some serious headaches later!

Fall foliage cropped