Prepare Home, Lawn for Winter, Winterization Tips
- Chimney sweep: It’s essential for homeowners to have their fireplaces and chimneys inspected once a year. 4 tips to keep chimney in good shape
- Garage door maintenance: Garage door maintenance isn’t usually at the top of homeowners’ to-do lists – until the door fails to open. Avoid being locked out of your home in the cold by having your garage door inspected while it’s still warm outside. There are also important safety considerations, especially for parents with young children.
- Gutter cleaning: It’s important to have your gutters cleaned twice a year to avoid potentially serious water damage. The late fall season is a good time to do this to prevent a blockage filled with dead leaves and other muck. More Gutter Cleaning Advice
- Heating system maintenance: Home heating costs are expected to reach record levels again this winter, as heating oil costs are projected to increase by more than 33 percent over 2007. That’s even more reason to make sure your heating system is in top shape.
- Insulation: If your home isn’t properly insulated, you’re allowing money to escape right out the door as you help heat the outside.
- Water heater maintenance: Sediment buildup slows down heat transfer and can lower the efficiency of your water heater by as much as 50 percent. Angie’s List recommends draining water from your heater at least once a year and the fall is a good time to do so. Water Heater Service Tips
- Aerate your lawn once a year. Aeration allows for air, moisture and fertilizer to travel to the roots of the grass more efficiently. If you intend to plant grass seed, then the best time to aerate your lawn is from mid-August to mid-September.
- During the hottest months, you should mow your grass down to 3 inches tall, but the last time you mow, cut it a little shorter than normal. Depending on the weather, mid-November is around the last time you should mow. You won’t need to mow after the first frost because grass will be dormant during the winter.
- Before the cold weather hits, you will want to fertilize your lawn so it will have nutrients to feed off of during the winter months. You should also make sure your lawn is getting about 1 ½ inches of water per week during the warm weather.
- Don’t let fallen leaves lay on your lawn for too long. Fallen leaves will deprive your grass of crucial sunlight during the fall months. Leaves can also accumulate and get wet, leading to mold growth and attracting pests, such as termites. Leaf Removal Tips
- Clip back any flowers in your flowerbeds and prepare your whole yard for the winter weather. Trim back tree branches that may not withstand the ice. Secure any lawn decorations that could get damaged in the cold.
- Remember to drain the water from your garden hoses and coil them for storage. You might also want to turn off the water to outdoor spigots to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
- Get ready for snow. While you’re working on fall chores, take time to change the oil in your snow blower and inspect the belts for wear. You want to make sure it’s up and running before the first big snow.