Preparing Your Home for Autumn

Fall is in the air and the summer months are winding down. The kids are settled back in school and vacations are now a memory. We ask ourselves where did the summer go? We had good intentions of accomplishing several projects, but time got away too quickly. Now, we need to prepare our homes for the cooler months ahead. Here are a few helpful tips!

gutter_cleaning_mainimg1. With the temperatures still in the 80-90’s, most have not paid attention to the gutters. Before the leaves begin to fall, it is a good idea to take a peak and clean out anything that might have collected over the past few months. This helps to prevent roof, siding and trim damage. Check gutters several times throughout the fall to make sure they stay clear of debris.

2. It is hard to think about turning on the heat, but before the frigid air arrives have your heating system serviced. Minor repairs are much more cost effective and can help avoid an expensive repair in the future. Also, do not forget to change your filters to maximize the effectiveness of your furnace.

3. Disabling exterior faucets from the shut-off valve inside your home is wise. Water can freeze in exterior pipes and garden hoses. If the water solidifies, it can cause the pipes to expand and burst. Have your irrigation system drained as well.

4. Fall is a wonderful time to trim the trees and shrubs. Keeping limbs trimmed away from the structure is important to create better ventilation. Thus, surfaces can dry out easier to help prevent mold and rot. Mulch flower beds especially in areas that ground tends to be cooler to help protect spring bulbs and roots.

images5. Check the caulk around the windows and doors. If moisture gets behind the frames, it is a breeding ground for mildew and decay. Staying ahead of the game can help extend the life of your home. Also, observe around the doors to make sure you cannot see daylight shining in. If so, add weather stripping to obstruct the frigid temperatures from entering your home.

6. It is time to invest in a programmable thermostat. For a reasonable cost you will save considerably throughout the year. Energy Star advises that you set your thermostat on 70 degrees while you are home or awake, and program it to drop to 62 degrees when you are away and asleep. When reprogramming your thermostat, it is a good reminder to check the batteries in your smoke alarm.

7. As the weather begins to have a constant chill in the air and the entertainment begins to move indoors, wipe down the outdoor furniture. To expand the life of your furniture and cushions, it is a wise to store them indoors protected from the outdoor elements. If that is not possible, make sure they are covered securely to keep them protected from the winter months ahead.

Being prepared for the cooler weather will allow you and your family to more easily enjoy the months to come. With the outside and the inside ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way, you will have time to observe the beautiful changing colors of the leaves and maybe even catch a Friday night football game.

Shelley Herod is the owner and designer for Designing Women, LLC from Woodstock, Georgia. She has been a local designer for the past 20 years. She graduated from Butler University  with a degree in merchandising and design. Shelley is a certified home stager and recently was selected by Executive Who’s Who. She is the veteran interior designer to the Junior Service League of Woodstock Christmas Home Tour, where she has been active for the past 10 years. She also works with wedding and special event venues as design coordinator to make dreams become reality. Designing Women is an active member of the The Atlanta Bridal Connection. Shelley can be reached at (770) 235-5640 or on her Facebook page: Designing Women.