Preparing Your Home for Fall

by Hometalk ExpertsSeptember 4, 2014

With fall approaching, what home maintenance projects should be completed to get ready for cooler weather?

With fall approaching, this is a great time to take a trip — to your attic! With cooler temperatures coming soon, this is the perfect time to make some improvements on that attic that was way too hot for most of the summer.

What has been drilled into everyone’s heads for the past several years was the importance of adding insulation. Increase your “R” value. What most folks do not understand is that there is a lot more to proper attic insulation than just adding on.

A home is like a very large chimney – air flows upwards as it is heated. As the house heats up during the day (even in the winter), that heated air flows upwards and out of the vents on the sides or top of the roof. If the attic ventilation system was designed correctly, the air that flows up and out of the top should be made up by the overhang soffits behind the gutters. However this is not always the case. When the soffit vents are undersized or covered with new vinyl or aluminum materials, this air flow becomes blocked. The result is the air that is leaving out the top ends up coming from the house areas below the attic.

Air seal the attic first! While this can be a daunting task, the steps that you take will do wonders for your energy bills not to mention your indoor comfort. Pros use the ABC method when insulating homes. Attic, basement or crawl, then center of home. If you spend all your money on better windows and caulk around doors, all you are doing is making a better chimney to pull the air from the basement to the attic. But much like your chimney you put a cap on the top, you stop almost 75% of the air that flows into and out of your home.

For more specific instructions on how to insulate your home, check out Hometalk Expert Robert Cameron’s post on Hometalk, Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.

What do you recommend for getting your yard ready for Fall? Is it a good time to plant grass or certain types of flowers?

Properly prepare your garden for fall by taking some precautions.

For vegetable gardens, Hometalk Experts Jim and Mary of Old World Garden Farms recommend removing old vegetable plants. Vegetable plants left in the garden over winter become a haven for insects and disease to take root. Many garden pests can find a home in the decaying stems, leaves and root systems of leftover veggie plants. Additionally, those damaged or withered left over vegetable plants can harbor mold, fungus, and disease that can also be transferred to next years plants. Your best bet – get them out of the garden each fall to prevent the transfer of those diseases.

The next step in fall garden prep is to not let your soil be naked for the winter. After you have spent all that time removing your old plants, do your garden a huge favor and cover it back up with a cover crops or a thick layer of shredded leaves, compost or straw. Even better – do both!

Leaving your soil bare is an open invitation for all type of weed seeds to find a home until next spring where they will sprout into action. Also, barren soil is susceptible to the fall and winter rains, wind, and snow, which can wipe away the top layer of your soil (usually the most fertile) and leave you with less top soil to grow your plants in next year.

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Hometalk Experts
Hometalk Experts are standouts in their industry and provide trusted advice on home improvement and gardening projects. Experts include reputable interior designers, painters, contractors, craftsmen and real estate professionals. Hometalk Experts are an active part of Hometalk's community, answering individual questions and providing inspiration through their own completed projects.

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