Fall is such a beautiful time of year. The leaves have turned, there’s a crispness in the air and the days are getting shorter.
As nice as it is to get out and enjoy the days of autumn, most of us turn our focus indoors, cozying up the interior for the cold months ahead.
But before you turn all your attention indoors, don’t forget about winterizing your home’s exterior. Routine maintenance is important to prevent breakdowns and to keep your home in tip top shape.
Here are a few tips to get your home’s exterior ready for winter:
- Drain Rain Barrels - this is important, as the water left inside the barrel would turn to a large block of ice if left over the winter.
- Give shrubs, trees & perennials a good watering - even though plants sit dormant over the winter, they still need nutrients to feed from. Ensure they get enough water in the fall to last throughout the winter (perhaps using the water drained from the rain barrels?)
- Fall fertilizing - I hire someone to fertilize my grass, trees and shrubs. They use a special fall fertilizer so plants and trees get the nutrients they need over the winter. You don’t have to hire a landscaper to do this. Most home improvement stores carry fertilizers specifically for a fall application.
- Clean Gutters & downspouts - the accumulation of snow over the next few months means there will be a lot of melted snow draining from the eaves-troughs. Make sure they’re clean of debris to allow the water to drain easily and to alleviate excess weight sitting on the eaves-troughs.
- Seal gaps and cracks - This is important, especially around windows and doors where drafts can seep indoors.
- Blow out irrigation systems and drain outdoor water faucets - this will eliminate pipes freezing which can potentially cause a pipe to burst.
- Prune Elm trees and fruit trees - autumn is the best time to prune certain trees and shrubs. Check with your arborist to see which ones need to be pruned. We’re on a schedule with our arborist so they know what trees need to be pruned when and they come each year at that time to do the pruning. Again, you don’t have to hire someone to do this, however I do recommend it for very tall trees.
- Store patio furniture in a shed or garage. If you don't have any spare storage space, cover furniture with vinyl covers specifically made for outdoor furniture. Winter is brutal on teak furniture, not to mention how it can rust metal/steel furniture.
With the outside tended to, you can turn your focus indoors, with a hot cup of cider, a good book and....oh, right...Indoor Fall Maintenance projects.
Stay tuned for that checklist coming later this week.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Meagen Mackenzie, REALTOR® and Accredited Staging Professional with RE/MAX iREALTY INNOVATIONS.
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