While it may not completely feel like it on a daily basis, if you’ve stepped outside the last few mornings, you may have noticed that a tinge of fall is in the air. Here in Georgia, autumn is a relative idea, especially if you take into account the fact that truly cold, blustery weather tends to miss this part of the country. Even so, as temperatures begin to dip, it’s important to keep a mental checklist of fall home maintenance tasks that will help keep your property in tip-top shape throughout the winter.
1. PREP YOUR MOWER. Most lawns in Georgia are planted with bermudagrass, which becomes dormant during the cool winter season. Therefore, since you won’t need to mow your lawn for several months, it’s important to remember that leftover gas in your sitting mower may slowly deteriorate and damage its engine.
To combat this, consider adding a fuel stabilizer to your mower’s tank, which can keep spare gas in good condition. Additionally, make a point to run the engine for five minutes so that the stabilizer reaches the carburetor before it gets put away.
2. SEAL THOSE CRACKS. This is by far one of the most important tasks on any fall maintenance checklist. In order to prevent moisture from getting inside your walls, go around your home’s exterior with a few tubes of color-matched exterior caulk and seal any cracks between the trim and siding, window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house.
3. CLEAN THOSE GUTTERS. While we miss a lot of the snow, Georgia is known to get a lot of ice, which can lead to expensive future repairs if proactive maintenance steps are not taken. Clogged gutters can cause ice dams, so make a point to clean your gutters of leaves, twigs, and gunk after the trees have shed their foliage.
Make a point to tighten any lose gutter hangers and downspout brackets, and replace any worn or damaged gutters.
4. CHECK FURNACE FUNCTION. Furnace checkups are relatively cheap and can be completed by a heating and cooling pro within 30-45 minutes. If you don’t already have one, you may even want to consider signing an annual maintenance contract which will not only save you money, but help you catch any pressing issues before you’re left without heat in mid-December.
5. PRUNE YOUR YARD. The summer growth cycle ends mid-fall, which makes it a fantastic time to prune plants and trees throughout your yard—especially those close to your home. Overgrown limbs can allow moisture to drip onto roofing and siding, and can also cause damage during high winds, so make a point to keep them at least three feet from your house.
If you’re new to yard maintenance or are not sure whether too much pruning will harm the integrity of your plants, consider checking information listed on the UGA Extension Service’s website.
Home maintenance is something that needs to be done year-round in order to avoid greater issues, so consider setting aside a weekend or two to complete the above tasks. For more tips and tricks, please do not hesitate to contact me for more information.
Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698