Fall Maintenance Checklist

Are you drinking the pumpkin spice lattes yet and hoping that cooler weather is right around the corner? Autumn is coming and now is a great time to make a list of those things that should be done before winter arrives (yep, it’s coming too.)
1. Stock up on supplies. For our friends and family who live is colder regions, of course, that means snow shovels, but we still need ice scrapers at times. Getting a bag of plant/pet safe ice melt, is a good idea, too. Make sure your car is stocked with fresh emergency kits and service any outdoor equipment that may need it.
2. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. We’re not quite there yet, but come November, this is a good idea. Even in Charlotte, outdoor water pipes can burst. Draining hoses and storing them indoors extends their life.
3. Repair walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for safety.  Cracks, Roots, Decaying wood – all need to be fixed as the weather cools.
4. Replace batteries and light bulbs, as needed.  Time change is a fantastic time to replace all the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Daylight Saving Time ends on November 3rd. Also, check the outdoor lights and replace the broken bulbs.   This is also a great time to check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace it. (I always forget that one!)
5. Bye, Bye Leaves.  Leaves look beautiful on the ground, but they can be time consuming to gather up. Make an afternoon of it with your family and rake or blow the leaves into a pile. Try these handheld “leaf scoops” to bag leaves quickly and easily.
6. Outdoor Maintenance. Securely cover small holes or large gaps that critters, like mice, can use to get into your home. Make exterior repairs to your roof, siding or foundation. Guthmann Construction can help you with all those needs. Clean gutters and downspouts once most of the leaves have fallen. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding. Care for trees and shrubs.
Bryan Giles, owner/arborist at Arbor Doctor in Calabasas, CA, says, “The most important maintenance for a homeowner to do in the fall would be trimming the dead out of trees.”  Also observe your trees this fall. “Early change in leaf color, pines looking thin and/or needles turning brown, and dead branches are all signs of diseases,” reminds Giles.
7. Schedule a chimney cleaning (indoor and outdoor.) While you’re at it, it’s also a good time to schedule a heating system maintenance call, as well. Making sure your chimney and furnace…are cleaned, maintained and in working order before you need to turn on the heat is an important safety measure. And be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one – it will stop critters and birds from entering your home.
8. Deep-Clean the kitchen. Autumn is a great time to deep-clean the kitchen to get it ready for the Christmas season and the extra cooking and baking you’ll be doing over the next six months. Some tasks to remember: degrease the range hood and filter, clean the oven, vacuum the refrigerator coils, clean the tile grout, clean light fixtures, wash the walls & backsplashes, wash the garbage and recycling bins (could do both indoor & outdoor!), and clean small appliances. Your kitchen will be sparkling for the holiday season.
Have I missed anything? Leave a comment and add it to our list.  Happy Fall, everyone!
*all suggestions, pictures, and quote taken from Houzz.com