Get Your Home Ready for Fall with These 5 Simple Tasks

When summer pool parties give way to pumpkin spice everything and the return of your most comfy hoodies, that means it's time to get your home ready for fall. Head off costly repairs and unpleasant surprises in the spring with these simple preventative fall tasks.

#1 Sprinklers

Whether your irrigation is above ground or buried, failing to tend to it now can mean frozen lines, burst pipes, and broken sprinklers when the cold weather comes.

  1. Turn off the water to your sprinkler or irrigation system at the main valve.
  2. Turn off any automatic timers or controls.
  3. Open your drain valves to remove water from the system.
  4. Remove your above-ground sprinkler heads, shake remaining water out of them, and put them back on.

But what if you don't have drain valves?

Hire a pro. An irrigation professional will be able to blow out the system pipes with compressed air. It may cost a couple hundred dollars, but the charge is worth it: you'll know it's done right, and you won't have to worry about your pipes bursting or repairing your sprinkler heads next season.

#2 Mower

If you store your mower with gas in its tank, the gas will start to deteriorate, and will form gummy deposits in the mower fuel tank, carburetor, fuel lines, and fuel filter.

To avoid that mess, use fuel stabilizer. Adding fuel stabilizer to your gasoline keeps the gas from deteriorating during the storage months, preventing the damage described above. Make sure to run the mower for a few minutes after you've added the stabilizer to give it time to reach the carburetor.

#3 Garden Hoses

Don't leave hoses attached to your home's outdoor faucets. If you do, water can back up and freeze, cracking the faucet and the pipes inside your exterior walls.

Once the hoses are detached, drain them and store them in your shed or garage, to prevent weather damage and ensure they're ready for use next spring.

(And don't wait on this… those early freezes always seem to catch us off guard, don't they? Don't let one of them leave you with split hoses and cracked pipes because you were waiting “one more week” to deal with the garden hoses!)

#4 Fireplace

One of the best parts about welcoming fall is getting ready for cozy evenings by the fireplace.

But before you start making your first fire of the season, make sure your fireplace is safe.

Check the flue, damper, and firebox – and don't hesitate to call a professional for an inspection if you notice any damage, or to get a chimney sweep for an annual cleaning. Keeping your fireplace clean and in top working order ensures you'll be making plenty of glowing — and safe! — memories.

#5 Furnace

Get your heating system checked now, before the weather turns really cold. An annual maintenance check can save you the discomfort, and potential danger, of a mid-winter surprise outage.

Now is a good time to change your furnace filters as well. If you don't have a schedule for changing your filters, the change of seasons is an easy one to remember.