This weekend I finally got out into the yard to do some of our annual Fall clean up and put a way! Since summer seems to have gone on forever, there were still a lot of yard toys, yard tools, overgrown flower posts and tree trimming needing to be addressed. Luck for me the weather was perfect for a day of outdoor “to-dos”. Here are a few must DO items for your home this fall.
Regularly clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier. Homeowners tend to complete this task once in the fall, however in Oklahoma it is needed several times through out the season. We normally do ours in late October and again while putting up the Christmas lights the end of November.
Trim dead branches out the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage in a winter storm. Driving out of our property I have noticed several trees and branches that need to be removed. Several years ago the Electric Company sprayed some trees along our drive which were too close to the lines. Looks like this year is the year they may come tumbling down – right across my drive way!
Rake up the thick layers of leaves that settle on lawn surfaces. Large, wet leaves get compacted which kills the grass below and lead to all kinds of insect and disease problems. Racking, blowing or mulching these leaves will help you have a better lawn in the spring.
To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.
Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Which also reminds us that NOW is the time to make sure your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and put in fresh batteries. These are very important detectors to have in a home. A smoke alarm can save lives in a house fire. A carbon monoxide detector can also save lives if a home has oil or gas-burning appliances, like a furnace or water heater.
Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Your local utility company will often provide this service for free.