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Fall Home Maintenance 101

Fall is nearly behind us, the leaves are finally changing, the air is crisp and everyone seems to still like pumpkin spice lattes. Other than wondering if we should just start decorating Menorahs and Christmas trees with pumpkins and turkeys, you know what’s on my mind in the fall? Home maintenance! Whether you just bought your first home, or have been living in the same one for 15 years, maintenance between seasons is important for everyone to keep in mind.

When homes are well maintained, it increases their value and makes them much easier to sell, so I am always urging future clients to give their homes the love they need and it will pay off in the end.

Here are the top three maintenance activities that come to mind and some partners I can recommend!

1. Tend to the garden

Did you know that even late fall is a good time to put in new plantings and it’s actually the best time to lay new grass seed? Your grass might not be looking great by the fall, but its roots are actually preparing for winter and if you want to have beautiful grass in the spring, now is the best time to tend to your yard.

Once you have spread new grass seed and pruned back your shrubs and trees, you can sit back and watch the leaves fall — and did you know that it’s actually better for the environment (and your lawn) to leave the leaves on the ground? Fall leaves can do so much good if we just leave them alone. Not only do they warm the earth, leaves on the ground also provide shelter to important insects and give your garden the nitrogen rich nutrients it deserves!

If you do prefer the tidy lawn look even in the fall, then composting the leaves and adding to your flower beds can be another environmentally-friendly option!

And lastly, if landscaping isn’t your cup of tea and you’re looking for some pros to help, I always recommend my friends at Preston Landscaping.

2. Check the roof, gutters and downspouts and shut down your outdoor systems

In preparation for months of cold rain and snow, it’s always a good time to check that your roof is in solid condition. My friends at Cole Roof Systems are absolute pros and can make sure your roof and gutters are in sound condition. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding. Avoiding water damage to a house at all costs is worth it!

I also know that winters in the DC area might be milder than some areas in the country, but it’s important to protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors as well!

3. Schedule HVAC system maintenance

Regular maintenance of your entire HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system is crucial for a comfortable winter. Not only will the system run more reliably (it’s uncomfortable to lose AC in the summer, but it’s critical not to lose heat in the winter) it will run better as well.

Make sure your ducts are clean and check that the humidification system for forced air systems is still working properly to avoid dry air, colds, and allergies. And make sure your radiators are bled and balanced. Your mechanical systems really are a place where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

As always, I have a few friends who can help with this — call Justin Shook at JAS Mechanical for your HVAC needs.