By: Ken Tripp

7 Tips to get your home ready for the Fall

Tags: Homes in Ottawa, Home for sale Ottawa, Condo for Sale Ottawa, Fall Season Ottawa, Home Tips

Top 7 Tips for getting your home ready for the Fall 

1. Fertilize Your Lawn

According to most lawn care experts, fertilizing your lawn in fall will protect it over the winter and help it green up faster come springtime. This is especially important in areas with hot and dry summers since grass tends to stop growing under such extremes. Dosing your lawn with fertilizer in autumn will trigger renewed growth of both blades and roots, so your lawn will be thick and healthy again before winter’s colder temperatures set in.




2. Get Your HVAC Serviced

Your AC has been faithfully chugging along all summer, and now it’s time to give it a rest. Before you tuck it away for the winter, be sure to clean the coils first. You can find YouTube videos showing how to do this safely.
Once clean and dry, cover the AC unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system. Then move indoors and switch your thermostat from cooling to heating, and be sure to change the filter. You should also take a walk around your home to make sure all vents are uncovered, and maybe give them a cleaning if possible.



3. Clean Your Gutters

I hate, hate, hate doing this chore. I learned not to skip it when our clogged gutters channeled water down the side of our home where it eventually damaged the foundation, costing me a good deal of money to fix.  I've since made a point to add gutter cleaning to our home maintenance calendar every season.

It turns out, it’s not that hard to do — just get a ladder and work in a pair, so one person holds the ladder and watches as the other climbs and pulls debris out of the gutters. If you have a one-story house, you can even use a leaf blower and do it quicker. Still too much work, or you've got a 2 storey home? Hire a gutter cleaning company — they’re worth it.



4. Drain And Store Your Lawn Equipment

Over time, unused gas goes through chemical changes that can lead to gum and other harmful deposits that can destroy your lawn equipment. So after you’ve given your lawn a final once-over for the season — usually around mid-October — you should drain the tanks of your lawn mower, leaf blower, and weed eater.

Fall is also a good time to get your lawn mower blades sharpened so they’ll be ready for next Spring.



5. Turn Off And Drain Outdoor Faucets And Sprinklers

Unless you want your backyard turning into an ice skating rink at 3 a.m, this one is important. It's an easy one to handle and can save you from a messy and expensive repair if the water freezes and the outdoor faucet bursts. Don’t let this happen to you! Disconnect your outdoor hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply, and then open faucets and run your sprinkler system to drain them of water. It’s that easy. Once drained, you can take steps to prevent frozen pipes.



6. Inspect And Clean Your Chimney

Another one worth hiring out and getting a professional to handle is this one.  There’s nothing charming about filling your home with soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide because you haven’t had your chimney cleaned. If you use your chimney during the winter (and who wouldn't..a warm fire is so so nice), then make sure to have it inspected and cleaned before the winter hits. Even gas fireplaces need their chimneys cleaned and inspected to ensure there are no bird or squirrel nests blocking the flue, and that the chimney pipe is free of cracks that can allow smoke to enter your home. This job is best left to pros, and the cost runs around $100-200.



7. Get Your Ice Melt And Snow Blower Ready

This is Ottawa, and whether we want to believe it or not...the snow is coming. Maybe even in October ( I know, I know. I didn't even want to type that)  The first anticipated snow leads people to empty the shelves of ice melt, windshield scrapers, snow shovels and blowers. Even though we know it’s going to happen every year, usually by November but often earlier than that, it’s as if people don’t think about snow at all until the weather forecast mentions it. By then, it’s often too late to find snow gear until the stores replenish their supplies.

That’s why it’s smart to stock up on such things in autumn when they’re plentiful and, not surprisingly, lower-priced. And, listen, even if you think you’ve got enough left from last year, or that your snow blower or shovel are in good shape, take a few moments to check so you don’t get caught out in the cold finding out you’re wrong.

A little bit of prepardness now can save a lot of headaches in the late fall and winter when these things become bigger problems than they need to be. If you don't have time and need someone to help with these things, call me, I can point you to someone that can get it done. You can reach me at 613.291.8033