It might still be the dog days of summer, but fall will be here before you know it! Seasonal home maintenance is crucial for keeping you safe, dry and comfortable and can prevent the need for unnecessary (and costly!) repairs. With lingering warm temperatures and daylight, the end of summer is the perfect time to prep your home for the cooler, and often more harsh, months to come. Add these six tasks to your end of summer maintenance for a smooth seasonal transition!
Get Pests Under Control
Whether you’re hiring a company to treat your home and yard or doing it yourself, creepy crawlers are one of the top nuisances that come with the summer months. Especially if you live in an area that sees a lot of rain during the summer, you can expect these critters to make themselves welcome in your home, as they look for a dry refuge. Before you hunker down for colder months, here are a few ways to get and keep pests out of your home:
- Check weather stripping and seal up entryway cracks
- Set out bait or traps
- Deep clean indoor and outdoor trash cans that’ve had a full summer to accumulate smelly, pest-attracting residue
- Check nooks and crannies in and around the home for any nests or signs of infestations
Finally, if you find signs of infestations from termites, roaches or ants that are beyond the scope of simple traps or bait from the hardware store, don’t wait! You don’t want to give them time to cause any more damage, so call your local pest control company for advice or to schedule an appointment.
Check Your HVAC
To keep this big-ticket item from causing big-ticket problems, a technician should come out once or twice a year to check that your HVAC system is functioning properly. Sure, your AC unit is blowing cold air like a champ, but is there a crack in your furnace that’s developed since you last checked?
Hire a reputable technician to take a look at your unit, measuring its capacity and checking for any leaks. When your unit is running at optimal performance, it’s more energy efficient, can save your overall costs, and protect against dangers like fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. This is also a great time to clean out your vents, which improves the efficiency of your unit and reduces the allergens in the air.
Address Any Yard Drainage Issues
If you’re in an area that receives a lot of rainfall during the summer, this is an especially important part of your end of summer maintenance checklist. Summer storms can cause minor flooding or create cracks in home exteriors over time. If you live in a climate where it snows in the colder months, water seepage into foundation cracks can experience cycles of freezing and thawing; over time, this can cause extensive damage that’s quite costly to repair.
If you’ve noticed any standing water in your yard the past few months, chances are that it will only get worse if left unaddressed. Here are some treatment options:
- Clear your gutters and downspouts
- Plant a rain garden, or add a catch basin in areas that consistently puddle
- Construct a creek bed or insert a French drain to channel water away from any low points in your yard.
If you have a serious issue with drainage seeping into your home or causing foundational issues, call your local landscaper to see if adjusting your property grade is in order.
Check Your Weatherproofing
Summer is notorious for rolling thunderstorms, and depending on where you live, tropical weather systems. End of summer maintenance is a perfect way to check for areas vulnerable to extreme weather before issues like water leaks happen. Focus on these items:
- Check the roof for leaks or loose shingles
- Inspect the weather stripping around doors and windows
- Check your insulation for any areas that could use some some replenishing
- If you don’t have one already, consider installing a storm door
Tend to Your Yard and Landscaping
Early fall is a perfect time to plant for spring gardens, making end of summer maintenance a crucial prep step. But even if you don’t care to garden, your yard still needs the occasional maintenance deep dive. To keep your home’s exterior protected and your curb appeal at its best, add these items to your to-dos:
- Trim back any large tree branches hanging over your home.
- Clean up your landscaping — pull weeds, uproot dead plants, etc.
- Aerate and/or fertilize your soil and add new grass seed
- Power wash hardscapes like your driveway or walkway
Seasonal maintenance can certainly be a chore, but when done regularly it can save you time, money and stress down the road. For even more fall prep ideas, print out this detailed checklist, and don’t forget to check back for more fall-centric content!