Fall Home-Maintenance Tips
While we are still experiencing some 80- or 90-degree days, we have had some nip in the air, and that tells us that we are finally beginning to experience fall in North Florida.
So, like we did a few months back for the summer, we want to offer up some ideas of things that you should be doing around your home in the fall.
Check Your Detectors
While we are not necessarily getting the dip in temperature that our northern neighbors are experiencing, it is certainly possible that if you use a furnace for heat, you need to be careful about fumes and smoke. So, if there is a time during the year that you are going to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fall is as good a time as any. You should check batteries and expiration dates. Smoke detectors typically last about 10 years, and carbon monoxide detectors are generally good for about six years.
Don’t Stop watering Your Lawn
We might be seeing leaves falling, grass growing slower and other autumn changes, but that does not mean you should stop watering your lawn. Watering in the fall helps your lawn recuperate from summer stress and helps get it through the winter and our occasional freezes.
Aerate Your Soil
Aerating is simply putting some holes in the ground around your home by removing plugs of soil. It is vital for a healthy lawn. You should do this once a year, and the fall is the best time.
Clean Window Wells
You may not be thinking about this one but if you don’t clean the window wells you risk a broken window or wet basement (if you have a basement). The problem here is that if you have clogged gutters, any rainfall can result in water getting dumped next to the house and in the window well. Enough water can break the windows.
Fall is Fertilizer Time
While it is recommended that you fertilize four times a year, a lot of people don’t. If you’re only going to do it once a year, fall is best. If you want the best lawn in town, fertilize four times a year. And ask an expert at a garden center for advice about the best fertilizer blend for your fall grass type and local soil conditions and the best way to fertilize.
This goes back to your window wells. A plumber’s snake may be a useful tool for this chore.
Cut Grass Short
First, you want to remove all the dead leaves. And then, when you mow in the fall, set your mower to cut your grass short, at 1-1/2 or 2-inches.
Clean Your Chimney
If you have a fireplace that you use, it will soon be the time of the year when you do that. Depending on how often you use the fireplace and the moisture content of the wood, you need to clean your chimney periodically. You may not have to do it every fall because it is recommended that it happen after every 50 or so times you use the fireplace. So, depending on how cold it gets in our North Florida winters, you may only have to do this one every other year.
One last, and particularly important, thing to remember – some of these tasks are simple, while others are more complicated. Don’t take on a project that’s too big for you. First, you could end up hurting yourself. Second, you might end up having to call in someone else to fix whatever problem you may create. So, it may be better to call in an expert for some of these things from the start. And enjoy the cooler weather!