At some point in September, that warm summer weather slips into fall, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
The change in season also triggers a list of chores for homeowners that, while boring, have to be done to ensure the indoors is protected from winter's chilling frost and to have a healthy yard as spring begins to bloom.
We’ve compiled a brief to-do list to get your property ready for the cold weather ahead. Let's get to work!
It’s definitely a good idea to fertilize the grass substantially before the first cold or frost to allow them to get the necessary nutrients to survive through the winter months. The lawn must also be aerated to enrich the all-important roots. As far as cutting the grass goes, mowing should be maintained until the grass stops growing at about 2 ½ to 3 inches long.
Don’t be afraid to spread an abundance of seeds during this time if your lawn isn’t as healthy as you’d like. Any bare spots larger than a few inches should be seeded from September through mid-October to get the best results.
Looking ahead, your best bet is to take care of any weed problems that you have now, so that you won’t have to deal with them growing in the Spring. October is a great time to do weed maintenance. Once they’re gone, you’ll be able to enjoy the entire winter without thinking about it again! Lastly in regards to your lawn maintenance, in late October when mowing duties are over, remove any gas from the lawnmower, clean the blades if necessary, and put it in protected shed or storage area.
Early fall is actually a great time to plant. The planting soil is still warm enough for roots to grow, but since temperatures are beginning fall you won't have to water your plants as much.
Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires. If this isn’t something you can take care of yourself, there are plenty of professionals out there who could do it with ease, and not all that much cost to you. Also, make sure to rake away all debris, lose weeds, and any edible vegetation. This will help prevent rodents or unexpected animal intruders in your local area from stopping by.
On Long Island, sometime in October homeowners should definitely make sure their snow blower is ready to go (if they own one). That means clean, gassed up, and on standby. Whether you want to believe now or not, it sometimes snows in October so don’t be left unprepared.
Make sure all your gutters are intact and cleared of leaves and debris. Whether you have pouring rain or heavy snowfall, the last thing you need is to spend time fixing them in freezing temperatures.
Inspect your home's foundation and seal entry points to keep small animals or insects from finding warmth inside your walls. Seal any and all cracks.
Indoors, install or test carbon monoxide detectors. Many suggest positioning them near your furnace.
Use weather-stripping around doors and windows to prevent cold air from entering. Also, consider getting new energy-efficient windows for the best method of sealing in the heat (as well as lowering your monthly heating bill).
Make sure the cap on the top of your chimney is secure. You really don't want critters climbing down and making your house their home. Keeping outside creatures out has been a reoccurring theme, but is clearly a problem that no homeowner wants to deal with.
If the chimney hasn't been cleaned in several years, call a professional to inspect it and clean out the creosote and soot. Having said this, beware of cleaners that fabricate stories to get in your wallet. A trustworthy service is optimal. Finally, once your chimney is ready for use, you guessed it, collect or buy wood for the fireplace.
After reading this, we completely understand that these activities don’t sound very exciting. But before you forget about this, just try to think about all the trouble you can avoid by taking a few simple steps. You’ll be very happy knowing you’re prepared to face the freezing temperatures of winter, and all that goes along with them. You’ll be thanking us later!