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  • Writer's pictureWanda Vazquez


Every Fall we are reminded of changing our daylight saving time and change the batteries on the smoke detectors, but keep a home in good shape takes a few more items to check. Here a few home maintenance to-dos that will have your home ready to take on the winter season as a pro.



With all the leaves falling down, your gutters get really congested, and the easiest way to clean it up is with a rubber kitchen spatula! You can remove the debris without scratching up the gutter.


At least once or twice a year it’s important to inspect your roof and Fall is the perfect time to do it. Hire a professional or inspect the roof yourself to ensure there are no loose shingles that may cause leaks.


If you want the best lawn in town, fertilize four times a year. But if you can only bother to fertilize once a year, you still have a great lawn if you only fertilize in the fall. Choose a fertilizer that's labeled 4-1-2. (Those numbers refer to the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer.) Apply the fertilizer about three weeks before the last mowing of the season. Fertilizing in the fall provides energy and nutrients for the grassroots as they multiply in cooler weather before the grass goes dormant. The roots store food for the winter as well, which gives the grass an initial growth spurt when it emerges from dormancy in the spring.

Fall watering helps your lawn recover from summer stress and gain strength for the winter ahead. Also, if you fertilize in the fall, watering is necessary for the fertilizer to dissolve and soak into the ground where it's needed.


'Aerating' simply means making holes in the ground by removing plugs of soil. You should do it twice a year to helps roots thrive, but preferably in the Fall. You can rent a lawn aerator at any home and garden equipment rental store. Be sure to get one that actually removes plugs of soil rather than one that just pokes holes in the ground.


Give your grill a thorough cleaning to remove grease and food scraps, take these steps to help prevent any unpleasant surprises when you fire up your grill again next spring. Shut off the gas at the LP tank, unfasten the burner, slip the gas tubes off the gas lines and lift out the unit. Coat the burners and other metal parts with cooking oil to repel moisture that can build up over the winter and prevent rust. Then wrap the burner unit in a plastic bag to keep spiders and insects from nesting in the gas tubes during the winter. This is a common problem that can make for balky starts, uneven flames, or even a one-alarm fire the next time you light your grill. If you're storing your grill outside during the winter, just keep the propane tank connected (but shut off) and put a protective cover over the entire grill when you're done cleaning it. If you're storing the grill indoors, don't bring the tank inside, even into the garage or a storage shed. A small gas leak can cause a huge explosion if the tank is stored in an enclosed space. Instead, disconnect the tank and store it outside in an upright position away from dryer and furnace vents and children's play areas. Tape a plastic bag over the grill's gas line opening to prevent insects from nesting.


CHECK WINDOWS AND DOORS Check the doors and windows for any damage or noticeable drafts. Sealing up any openings will save homeowners up to 20% on heating costs by keeping the cold air out of the home and the heat in. 

CLEAN THE CHIMNEY AND FIREPLACE If it's been a few years since your last chimney cleaning, now's a good time to schedule one. The cleaning includes an inspection for soot buildup, obstructions, cracks in the chimney liner, and signs of water damage. If the soot build-up is about  ⅛ -inches thick, you know it is time for a deep clean. It’s important to have the soot removed because the burning build-up is a health hazard, emitting toxic chemicals into the air and lungs. Gas chimneys are as vulnerable to other chimney problems and it strongly behooves you to have them cleaned and inspected every year.


Changing your furnace filter is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your furnace in good shape. If you haven't changed it in a while, make sure you have a fresh one before you turn your furnace on for the first time.


Do you know that your smoke & CO detectors have an expiration date? Check batteries and expiration dates smoke detectors are typically good for 10 years, and CO detectors last for about six years. Check your fire extinguisher in the kitchen, be sure it's not expired, and always have a handy first-aid kit close by full with bandaids, alcohol wipes, and ointments.


When you keep your home in good shape you are keeping the value up of your investment. Routine maintenance can prevent irreversible damage and costly repairs in the future. If your home needs some seasonal maintenance, now's the time to do it before the winter hits.



Family handyman

Austin local

House Beautiful


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