How to Prep Your Home and Garden for the Fall

The cold temperatures and sometimes violent weather of fall and winter can damage for your home and garden, but if you prepare in advance, you can minimize any potential damage.  As the days grow shorter and colder, remember these tips to keep your home and garden safe for the next season and into the coming year.

Gutters

While you should ideally check and clean your home’s gutters on a monthly basis, it is especially important to check them as autumn nears. Faced with the descent of leaves, bird migration, and greater amounts of rain, you’ll want the drainage paths around your roof to flow freely. If your gutters become clogged or damaged, the excess water and consequential water damage can affect your home’s ventilation system. Mold can grow in the roof without you noticing it and can affect the health of your family. If you notice that members of your family consistently have low energy or a cold, cleaning out the gutters and checking for water damage is a good place to start.

Ducts

Your home is full of dust that you might not notice day to day, but this dust can be dangerous. The lint from clothing can actually build up to fire hazard levels without regular maintenance. Carpet tends to capture dust, so every five years or so, change out your carpets during. If you have in-door pets, do so every three years depending on how often and how much they shed fur. If any of your family has allergies to dust, you may consider switching to hardwood or laminate flooring. Autumn is a good time to take care of this as the cold weather encourages your family to spend more time in doors than they have been. Sweep, vacuum, clean, and recoat the innards of your fireplace if you plan on using it.

Waterproof

Verify that the crawl space under your home is free of unwanted critters and that all of your baseboards are intact and free of moisture. Also, seal any compromised areas of your window panes.  Waterproofing your home will protect your home from wood rot, mold, and a variety of other problems. Verify that the flooring in your basement contains no seepage or cracks. This is also a good time to check your water tanks and electrical panel. Try changing the temperature of your water units to see if they respond. If they do not adjust right away and they’re more than eight years old, they may function at partial capacity making your bathrooms and kitchen less efficient.

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Garden

If you’ve got a garden you’ve been nurturing for this year, the quickly dropping temperatures of fall and winter pose a threat to your plants. Prepare them to withstand the winter by mulching your garden that will decompose through the months and provide your plants with necessary nutrients. As it gets colder, different varieties have different protection needs. Some will be fine with a blanket covering them during a freeze, while others require insulation barriers and shields. Know your plants’ hardiness ratings and their specific needs for your climate.

Yard

Walk the perimeter of your property like you did when first inspecting your home when you bought it. Make sure your fences are secure by performing any maintenance that may be required. Fall and winter storms could break weak tree limbs and damage your home or property, so trim back any trees that have too long or dried out limbs.

Your home is an investment. Protect both it and your family by being prepared for inclement weather and the potential harm it can cause. Remember not to focus on only one part of your home but on all of it as you prep for fall.

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