Article By: Paul Desikin
The sun is setting on summer and your lazy days are over. But, if you want to enjoy your winter as much as your warm weather weeks, you’ll have to plan ahead and get a few things done before Jack Frost makes his annual debut.
This handy end-of-summer checklist will get you started.
Clear clogged gutters. Don’t wait for cold weather to clean out clogged gutters; you’ll want them functional in case of sleet. Lowe’s Home Improvement says the best way to clean your gutters is to start at the downspouts and remove large material first, using a hand shovel. Always practice ladder safety precautions by choosing the right size for your weight and placing the ladder on even ground.
Focus on the fridge. That month-old mystery meat in the Tupperware on the bottom shelf has to go. Now. The kids will be back in school soon and you’ll need the space for lunchboxes.
It’s the truth; it’s time to check your roof. Summer storms may have singled out your shingles, stripping your home of its first line of defense against sudden showers. Don’t leave this chore to the untrained eye, contact a reputable roofing inspection company to look for signs of damage and make any needed repairs before icy conditions make it unsafe to ascend your angled gables. The National Roofing Contractors Association is a great place to start your search for a qualified contractor.
Do you smell smoke? Your smoke detector should register smoke and temperature spikes before you ever have the chance. Change the batteries now and at the beginning of each new season.
Re-filter the return. Your HVAC system’s air return is marked by that big square or rectangle vent that you’ve probably been ignoring for way too long. It draws particles of dirt, dander, and debris out of the air you breathe. Change the filter once every 90 days – more if you have pets – and enjoy cleaner air all year long.
Clean the carpets. Your home’s carpets should be cleaned every year, according to Angie’s List home services experts. This helps reduce allergens and ensures your floors don’t become the blaring bane of your existence. Late summer is the perfect time to get down and dirty by renting a carpet cleaning machine since kids are less likely to mar the matting with mud and muck when Old Man Winter moves in.
Don’t be a fool, service your pool. This is the chore we all dread, since it means no more midday dips. But, if you want your pool to survive the next few months, you’ll need to balance the water chemistry, give it a good cleaning, winterize the plumbing, and install a fitted pool cover. Most of your closing accessories can be found online so you can spend a few extra hours poolside instead of going from store to store in search of the right products for your pool. Closing can be postponed until September or even early October if you live in warmer areas since your water needs to be consistently below 65 degrees to prevent algal growth.
Shakedown your shower head. All kinds of goop and grime can collect in your shower head, especially if you live in an area prone to hard water. Cleaning your showerhead is one of the easiest home maintenance tasks you can perform. Using a rubber band, attach a plastic bag filled with white vinegar over the showerhead, wait an hour, then remove and rinse by turning on the water. If you’re unsure about the hardness of the water in your area, check out the US Geological Survey map.
Check your deck. If it’s been awhile since you paid any attention to your deck, take a few minutes to look for signs of rotting, splintering, or loose nails. You can go a step further by sanding and sealing exposed wood.
With a little preventative maintenance, you can circumvent potentially costly repairs down the road. Take advantage of the last few weeks of extended summer sunshine to mark these items off your to-do list before tackling the rest of your winter home maintenance projects.