September Home Makeovers and Maintenance

by Becky BlantonSeptember 7, 2016

Those 110-degree days are starting to cool down. The fall rainy season, for most of the country anyway, hasn’t hit, and you can still work outside in shorts and a tee shirt. It’s the perfect time to make over an ugly, or even just a sad and homely looking home, and to make sure it’s safe and ready for winter. Here are 11 things you can put on your honey-do list:
Gutter Cleaning

Clean and inspect the gutters.

We know. When all the leaves start falling is when most people start cleaning their gutters. But it’s better to begin before the heavy fall foliage starts. Why? You can clean light litter out of the gutters and inspect them without having to push piles of wet leaves away. Now’s the time to make sure the gutters are clear, that they’re not pulling out of the eaves, and that they aren’t rusted, broken, bent or in disrepair. While you’re checking on gutters, consider adding gutter guards before the leaves, limbs, and acorns start falling. Save yourself a real headache by heading off a dangerous and annoying chore. If you string Christmas lights, now is the time to take advantage of the weather to install permanent hooks for any holiday decorations. It beats standing on a ladder in rain, cold and snow after Thanksgiving.

Repair the roof.

Your home may not need roof repairs, but if it does, now is the time to do it. Get out a pair of binoculars and start looking at your roof. Look for curling, broken, damaged or missing tiles. If you have an asphalt-tiled roof, look for areas where the asphalt granules are accumulating. This is a sign you need or will shortly need, a patch.

Patch and paint.

If your home doesn’t have siding, fall is the best time to patch and paint. Not only will you prevent water damage from the upcoming fall rains and winter snows, but you may also save yourself water damage, mold problems and critter invasion by going over your entire exterior and patching and painting as needed.

Plant bulbs.

The best way to ensure a beautiful yard in the spring is to plant bulbs in the fall. It’s an inexpensive way to make your yard a colorful paradise for years to come.

Garden Is My Mission. Caucasian Landscaper Gardener Ready For Hard Garden Work.

Clean up the property.

It’s easy to let tools, bikes, boxes and storage tubs accumulate in back and side yards until you can “get around” to cleaning up. Now is the time to clean up. Remove trash and items that need to be thrown away. Put that lawn clipping pile of dead grass and leaves into a legitimate composting enclosure. Haul limbs and debris to the dump. Pretend you’re selling your house and get rid of anything that would leave a bad impression from the street. Weed, weed-eat around fences, trees, and areas where grass has grown up all summer. Mulch as needed.

Replace or repair trashcans.

Trash cans get a lot of abuse. They’re thrown around, kicked, slammed and cracked. Make sure your cans are ready for the harsh weather that’s coming. Scrub them out with a good cleaner, inspect them for cracks, and repair and replace as necessary.

Clean your fireplaces and chimney.

You don’t want to be the guy (or gal) who waits until the first freeze to find out your furnace or fireplace doesn’t work or needs cleaning. Chimney fires can be deadly, and yet too many people put off an annual chimney cleaning because they wait too late in the season to hire a chimney sweep. You should also check the flue for bird’s nests, critters and creosote build-up.

Chimney sweep standing on roof of home working

Schedule a furnace check and maintenance.

Call in a professional to check and make sure your furnace is ready for winter. Once cold weather starts, the pros get busy. You can damage or destroy a furnace that’s not in working order. Noisy belts, poor performance, and erratic behavior are all signs something’s not working. It could be something as simple as a belt or filter that needs changing or servicing. The longer you wait, the more it will cost and the less likely you’ll be able to find a service technician who can get to you right away.

Check your humidifier.

Changing filters and doing routing cleaning and maintenance should be a monthly thing as mold grows fast once it starts.

Check your gas lines.

This is best left to the pros, but if you have gas heat, have the pros come out and check the lines and perform any routine maintenance needed.

Winterize your outdoor water faucets.

Depending on what part of the country you live in, September through October are the best months for winterizing your outdoor faucets.

Also be sure to change the batteries in your fire and CO2 detection monitors. Many local fire departments will come out to your home, or to an elderly parent’s home, and do a free fire safety inspection. Or you can do your own. Download this checklist from the National Fire Prevention Association: Home Fire Safety Survey – NFPA or this handy checklist from the Arlington County Fire Department.


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About The Author
Becky Blanton
Becky Blanton is a full-time ghostwriter and writing coach for Fortune 500 companies, CEOs, and business speakers. In 2009 she spoke at TED Global at Oxford University, her first ever public speaking gig. When she's not writing, she's kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay. Her dream home is to live aboard a sailing or houseboat.

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