The smell of pumpkin spice and everything nice is about to hit us around the corner. That's what people think about when fall season is upon us. While we're busy soaking up the weekends thinking about all the fun fall festivities coming up, you probably forgot about that "hunny-to-do-list" in your junk drawer. Here's a reminder!
Grab a cup of your pumpkin latte and let's get to your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist:
Store Summer Items & Replace with Fall Items
Grab a few storage containers from your local hardware store and start packing away any summer decor, summer clothes or summer shoes. Make sure all items are completely dry before putting them in any container and if need be, using Damprid will help prevent items from getting moldy or musty. Don't squish items.
Add labels to your boxes and use a labeling system to properly store and track items for later use. Now is also a great time to go through items and get rid of anything in excess, old clothes, clothes your children have grown out of, toys or equipment not being used, and either donate or toss it!
Clean Windows, Front Door & Decorate Entry with Fall Decor
A simple cleaning method for wood, steel, or fiberglass doors is mixing equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Use a soft cloth and this easy homemade spray to wipe down your front and back door. Don't forget to clean the top frame, as it's often forgotten. Another option is using mineral spirits for tough grease and stains.
Clean door hardware with mild soap and water mixture. Rinse with water only and make sure both the door and hardware are completely dry to prevent water damage.
You can also use this mixture to clean all your windows. If you have a sliding glass door, vacuum the tracks to pick up all the crumbs.
Another option is repainting your door with an exterior paint to further prevent outside damage on your door and add some more curb appeal!
Finally, grab your favorite fall decor to give some serious fall vibes!
photo creds to thedaintydarling - instagram @courteink
Pressure Wash Your Home
Exterior siding can accumulate a lot of dust and grime, even mildew overtime and it's a real turn off for curb appeal. Pressure washing your home once a year is ideal. Here are a few tips when doing so.
Be careful of using the pressure washer on exterior doors and windows as moisture can get into your home through gaps around the openings causing water damage.
Avoid spraying electrical components outside UNLESS they are turned off - lines, conduits feeding the meter, and the ac unit. Better yet, try to cover electrical outlets outside.
Angle away from doors, windows, and vents. This includes soffit vents.
Don't spray close to gutters or spray upwards under siding laps or flashing.
Don't hold the nozzle to the siding close enough for it to tear wood or strips the finish from siding.
Do not use detergents that contain bleach. Houses are surrounded by grass and landscape plantings, which can be damaged from chemicals. Try to cover plants as much as possible to prevent foliage damage.
If your siding has mildew simply mix one part household bleach with 10 parts water and wipe it on the affected area. Rinse it away with a sponge and clean water. Only apply it for a few seconds to a few minutes. If you have larger areas of mildew, try using Jomax. It's said to be harmless to plants and paints.
Be sure to check your home for mildew before you pressure wash your house.
Check Your Home for Critters
Secure garbage from animals
Don't leave food around for critters
Protect garden and ponds
Remove animals from yard
Close off entryways
Walking the perimeter of your home twice a year is a great way to check for critters. Look out for these:
You can pay for an inspector or just use this simple checklist to walk around your home.
Pay special attention to corners, gables, eaves and vents, including any place where two boards meet. These areas are where moisture and heat can cause boards to expand and contract sometimes creating a gap large enough for animals to get through.
Squirrels, mice, and racoons can enter areas close to the foundation so be sure to get on your knees to look for gaps at their eye level. Look for rotted sills and cracks in the foundation too.
Check all your screens if you have an enclosed patio porch so signs of critters chewing their way in and replace the screens and around any pipes including the dryer vent.
You will see telltale signs like fur or rub spots that show oil from animals that can discolor the opening.
If you plan on climbing on top of your roof to check look at the gutter and see if there are any signs of chewed up fascia boards. Look for feces too. Check downspouts and gutters since squirrels and raccoons will climb them. The outside will show pawprints and scratches.
Trim any branches that may be overlapping onto the roof to prevent raccoons from climbing up.
If you have a chimney, check for proper regulation screens and make a note of any rust or holes. Clean out any spider webs. Listen for any scratching, chirping, or grinding noises as an animal may still be in there. Place a grate over the chimney top to prevent animals from entering.
It's also a good idea to flush the downspout to ensure there are no blockages.
Next, you'll want to inspect your attic and crawl spaces be sure to wear protective gear like a HEPA filter dust mask, heavy gloves, knee pads, and thick clothing. You don't want to be breathing in dust or insulation fibers.
Make sure you walk on beam and trusses.
Turn off your flashlight to look for any light that could be entering from holes and make sure they aren't from ridge vent openings or soffit vents.
If you see any trails or holes in your blown or loose insulation that is a sign animals have been in your attic. Feces is another telltale sign.
Don't leave food outside for critters to get too. Keep your garbage cans clean and lock in necessary.
If you have a pond, you may find an electric fence is worthwhile so racoons or other critters won't get in if you plan on putting fish in it.
If you have a garden, whether it's flowers or for growing food, a fence is a great way to keep large animals out. Make sure it's more than a foot deep because racoons good at digging. For smaller garden beds, using wire mesh to cover it works, but it's not the prettiest.
Racoons simply need to be removed from the property.
Tend to Your Garden
Time to start pulling weeds and laying down new mulch before the season gets too cold.
Adding in some fall lighting, fake pumpkins, planting sunflowers, or even some fall decor around your patio, front door, and garden can spice things up!
Maybe even consider buying a firepit from your local hardware store and some extra lawn furniture to prepare for the coming s'mores season!
Who's ready for this coming fall season?!