CHARLOTTE – Cooler temperatures are rolling in, and as we see the tree leaves start to change, it is a real reminder that Fall is fastly approaching. The warm weather during the day is still quite pleasant to enjoy, which makes it a perfect time to prepare your home and garden for the upcoming seasonal change. It is important to maintain your home each season, keeping it in tip-top shape. Paying close attention to your home and repairing items each season goes a long way and can save you a ton of money and irritation down the line. Preparing your home by breaking it down into “to-do tasks” often is a great way to put together an effective plan that makes prep easier and less daunting. In preparing your home, gardens, and outside space for colder weather, it is best to focus on the following areas.
Cleaning out the gutters is very important. With debris and now leaves starting to fall, your gutters quickly can become clogged. When rain gutters are clogged it causes the water not to be able to drain and the system then becomes completely ineffective. The water that sits in the gutters can become ice, which will damage the gutter system. When the gutters are not draining because they are clogged, the water has to go somewhere, and it can often find its way into your home. This will cause costly expenses and issues that can be prevented. Save yourself time and money by making sure that your gutters are cleaned seasonally, especially before the cold weather.
Preparing your outside space by making sure outdoor furniture and toys are covered and stored properly will ensure that the items will last for many more seasons to come. Often during the cooler months of the year, we do not find ourselves outside as much, and entertaining outside will come to an end, so getting items cleaned and stored will make spring much brighter. When storing outdoor furniture, any wooden items should be cleaned and resealed to protect the wood then covered or placed in indoor storage for best results. Metal furniture and outdoor equipment should be cleaned, then waxed or sealed for best results, then covered or stored out of the weather. Plastic toys and furniture, outdoor play equipment, wicker furniture, and all cushions should be cleaned and then also stored somewhere dry and out of the elements. These preparation steps will not only preserve your outdoor equipment and furniture for many seasons to come but will also prevent mold from developing.
Preparing your garden and flower beds for the winter is a task that can preserve plants for longer beauty and also help your gardens for many years to come. As temperatures drop, it is important to take the steps to complete the maintenance in each garden bed before the temperatures turn to winter cold fronts. Always start with removing diseased or dead plants; not only are these plants an eyesore, but they can also cause issues with other plants if not removed. Then move on to removing all the weeds. In the warmer weather, the weeds can really multiply fast, so the cooler temperature makes the task of weeding less daunting. Removing weeds is important to the health of your garden as most species can cause threats to the garden as a whole. Once the beds are cleaned out, it is a great time to start prepping the soil for spring, adding specific nutrients to the gardens beds before winter allows them to break down in the soil and create an enriched soil for spring. For added protection, a layer of mulch will protect the soil from frost that can damage delicate roots of plants, and it also adds additional nutrients.
Home preparation for winter is important for home maintenance along with providing many benefits to your home for many seasons to come. Cleaning your home on the outside including power washing and window cleaning is a great maintenance plan. The cleaning protects the home plus keeps it looking nice, but it also starts the prep for the next step: winterizing/caulking windows and doors. Air leaks from doors and windows can cause significant increases in your heating bill. Start with inspecting all the outside moldings around the windows and doors; if caulking needs to be repaired, make sure to complete it before cooler temperatures arrive for best results. Doors and windows then need to be inspected inside; typically air leaks are found around the edges or hinges. It is important to either recaulk the problem areas or place a sealing tape. Either solution works well and will resolve the air drafts.
Preparing your outdoor spaces and your home inside and out will not only help protect your investments for many seasons to come, but it also helps prevent costly issues that are never fun to deal with. The prep work is also a great way to ensure that your spring setup goes smoothly and that returning to outdoor activities and entertainment will be even more enjoyable without so much worry.