Tips to help you prepare for the changing season

As fall approaches, there are preparations you can make in and around your home. There’s nothing like owning your own home. We all enjoy putting out a fall wreath and lighting pumpkin candles, but what should you check around the house? It may not be cold yet (and let’s not rush things), but it always is better to be prepared.

» Check your gutters. Are they in good working condition? Fall brings cooler weather and leaves that are changing color and beginning to drop. They may get in the gutters and clog them. Stopped-up gutters can lead to water getting under roof shingles and running toward your home’s foundation. This could cause water issues and possible flooding.

Take a good look at your roof as well. Is your roof ready for snow and storms, or are repairs needed? The flashing around chimneys and the vent pipe boots often are where leaks begin.

» Check seals around doors and windows. As the weather cools, you’ll want to be sure you maximize your home’s heating and cooling without drafts caused by air flow around doors and windows. Weather stripping is easy to install around doors and will save more money than you’ll spend on it.  Do you have enough insulation in the attic? Additional insulation can save you money year-round.

Change your HVAC filters for maximum efficiency. This should be done regularly. Replace screens on the windows with storm windows.

» Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. When seasons change, it’s a reminder for us to check batteries and be sure these devices are doing their job or protecting our homes. If you have a gas fireplace, you’ll want to have a carbon monoxide detector. There area affordable, plug-in devices available at local hardware stores. It’s a good idea to make sure gas logs are clean and ready for use.

If you have a wood burning fireplace, it may be time to have the chimney cleaned and checked. Birds can nest in chimneys and your first fire of the season could cause a chimney fire. The latest statistics show there are more than 25,000 chimney fires each year.

» Take a look outside. When trees and bushes are dormant, this is the best time to trim. You can Google the Old Farmer’s Almanac for guidance on various tress and bushes. This also is the time to fertilize your lawn. Flowers to plant in the fall are aster, pansy, chrysanthemum and stonecrop. Hill City Master Gardners have tips for planting in various conditions and seasons on their website (

Some folks like to bring in their outdoor furniture when the weather is cooler. It’s a great time to wash and clean the cushions. You may want to disconnect hoses from outside faucets and bring them in for winter storage. Your lawnmower should be clean (check blades for clumps of old grass) before storing.

Owning a home is the best investment you’ll ever make. Take good care of it and maintain it for the best increase in value. Take pride in your home. Your Realtor will have tips for maintaining your home all year long and is ready to assist you at any time with questions you may have. Your home has increased in value and your Realtor would be pleased to do an updated pricing for you- just call.