Labor Day has come and gone—along with the summer. Now, it’s time to enjoy the autumn and prepare for the cold months to follow. Not sure what chores to tackle around the house? Here’s a home maintenance checklist for September.
Have every heating system inspected. This includes your furnace, water heater, and chimney. Don’t wait until you’re desperate for heat to make sure everything is in working order.
Plug up leaks and cracks. Check the weather stripping around your doors and windows. Replace as needed. Be sure the bottom seal on your door is tight enough to prevent drafts. Apply caulking to cracks on the exterior and along the foundation.
Clean the gutters. Get rid of any twigs, leaves, and debris that have built up in your gutters. Make sure all gutters are clear so that melting snow can drain freely from your roof, and away from your home.
Clean your dryer vent. Even though you empty the lint trap on your dryer after each load (or you should!), the dryer vent behind the machine also collects flammable lint. Unplug the machine, turn off the gas supply, and remove the tube that connects the dryer to the vent. Vacuum out as much lint as you can.
Inspect your roof. Hire a pro or do the roof inspection yourself. Look at the condition of the shingles. Can you see damaged or missing shingles? Is the flashing intact? Are the fascia boards in good condition (i.e., without rot)? Use a flashlight to peer down the chimney, looking for anything nesting there. Invest the time now to inspect your roof so that you don’t have unwelcome surprises during the cold winter months.
Fertilize the lawn. Yes, your lawn will soon be taking its winter rest, but before you turn your thoughts to snow-blowing instead of lawn mowing, apply fertilizer to the lawn to promote healthier growth in the spring.
Trim low-hanging branches. Ice and show can weigh down tree branches. If you have any that are close to your home, cut them back to avoid damage to your roof, chimney, siding, or windows.
Pressure wash the exterior. Clean your home’s exterior—siding, windows, porch, patio, walkways, and driveway—to get rid of all the excess dust, dirt, and miscellaneous objects that have lodged there.