Is your Central New Jersey property ready for fall and winter weather? These steps will help you prep your house and yard for the change in seasons.
Clean Decks, Patios and Outdoor Furniture
Your deck or porch furniture may be designed to handle summer weather, but it can still get a little grimy after months outdoors. Even if you keep your chairs and tables on a covered porch or patio, leaves, bugs and spider webs may accumulate around the legs and on the undersides of the pieces. Before you store the items for the winter, brush away debris, then clean the furniture with a commercial cleaner or a homemade solution of water and dishwashing liquid.
Patios and decks will also benefit from a thorough cleaning with the appropriate product or homemade cleaner. After you sweep away debris, use a long-handled push broom or scrub brush to clean the patio or deck, then turn on the hose and rinse away the suds. Be sure to use products and techniques recommended by the manufacturer or installer of your deck or patio.
Schedule a Furnace Service Call
Furnace breakdowns always seem to happen at the worst times during the winter. Luckily, many types of problems can be avoided with a service call during the fall months. Services will vary depending on the type of furnace, but may include:
- Cleaning or replacement of filters and cleaning of the blower
- Leak and blockage checks
- An inspection to look for damage or corrosion that could lead to performance issues
- Tests to evaluate burner function, blower motor, electrical connections and thermostat calibration
Seal Leaks Around Windows and Doors
Even small gaps around windows and doors can affect the comfort of your home. Fall is the perfect time to replace old or worn weatherstripping on doors and re-caulk window frames if needed. Leaks can also occur around areas where wires or pipes enter your home, at the boundary of your foundation and first floor, in electrical outlets and switch plates, and around vents and fans.
Do a Little Landscaping and Create a Planting Plan for Spring
Raking leaves, the classic fall activity, isn’t the only job you’ll need to tackle in your yard. Removing dead annuals from flower beds, fertilizing your lawn and spreading a little grass seed over bare spots will help keep your yard looking its best.
Fall is the perfect time to create your spring landscape and garden plan. Some plants and shrubs, like lilac bushes, are best planted in the fall. You’ll also want to decide which plants you want to add to your landscape in the spring and investigate the ideal planting time for each type. Consult the U.S. Plant Hardiness Zone Map for information on planting zones.
Battery-operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can save your life, as long as you remember to change the batteries regularly. Designating a particular day in the fall as your annual battery replacement day, such as the last day of September or Halloween, is a simple way to spur your memory and protect your family.
Organize Your Attic and Basement
Is your attic or basement overflowing with toys, broken furniture, old clothes and assorted stuff you were convinced you needed to save? Take advantage of cooler fall temperatures and spend an afternoon cleaning and organizing your attic and basement. Make three piles – keep, donate or trash – and resist the urge to second-guess your decisions.
Leaf-clogged gutters increases the risk of damage to your home. When leafs block downspouts, water can seep into your home, damaging floors and walls and creating the perfect environment for mold growth. Whether you clean your own gutters or use a professional service, fall and spring gutter cleaning offers a simple way to prevent damage.
Prepare for Freezing Temperatures
Avoid damage to outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems by draining every drop of water from them before the first freeze. Overlooking these little details can lead to a burst pipe or a malfunctioning sprinkler system. Take a little time to test your snow blower, and make sure you can find snow shovels, snow melt and other snow supplies.
Avoiding cabin fever when the temperatures begin to drop is easy when you have a home you enjoy. Country Classics at Hillsborough offers spacious homes that offer four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, two car garages (with the option to expand), gourmet kitchens, large lots, formal dining and living rooms and spacious family rooms. Contact us for information about homes available in our final phase.
United States Department of Agriculture: U.S. Plant Hardiness Zone Map
HGTV: Plan Your Spring Garden
Martha Stewart: Our Top Tips to Prep Your House for Fall
Reader’s Digest: Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter