The outside of your home creates the first impression your visitors receive. It communicates to the community how well you care about the property. Here are several essential outdoor cleaning tips for fall so that your home will leave the positive impression you want it to create. We’ll also address essential steps to prevent damage to your property due to the freezing weather.
Prepare for Freezing Weather
Fall is a season of transition, and any night could be the one when temperatures drop below freezing. Before that happens, empty your water hoses and cover the faucets so they aren’t damaged by water freezing inside of them. If you have potted plants that are temperature sensitive, start moving them inside. This is essential if you have to regularly water the plants, since the water in the soil will expand when it freezes, potentially cracking the planter. A sprinkler system needs to be winterized, though this may best be left to the professionals. Do pick up any loose sprinklers and water filled toys left around so they can be drained and stored. Don’t forget to winterize your pool and hot tub, too.
Handle Leaves the Right Way
Raking leaves is a chore parents leave to children if they can or pay someone else to do. You run the risk of leaves left to pile up in the windblown corners of the yard, tools left out by distracted children or an incomplete job. In some cases, overzealous lawn maintenance results in scraping the ground so hard that they damage grass and tree roots.
Getting a leaf blower would be a great idea. If you don’t know which type you get, you can always visit a site like mygardeningnetwork.com which reviews different types of blowers. After you’ve collected all the leaves, you can weed and feed your lawn so that it stays green longer. Note that you can use a leaf blower to collect the cuttings to minimize the insects that would otherwise be attracted to them.
You also need to clean the gutters of leaves and other debris so the gutters can do their job as fall rains transition to sleet and snow.
Releasing the Dead Stuff
Fall is a good time to take an honest appraisal of your yard, garden and outdoor decorations. If the plants in the hanging basket are dying or dead, go ahead and get rid of them. Instead of adding all those Halloween crafts to the stack in the shed, decide what you’re willing to dispose of instead. If you have dead shrubs and trees, the fall is a good time to get rid of them, so you can plant replacements in the spring. Pull out those dead flowers. However, if you find patches of dead grass, don’t reseed now – do that in the spring. After you’ve cleaned all of this up, walk around the house to look for gaps and cracks in the wall, siding and roof. You want pests addressed now before their friends move in to take advantage of your warm home for the winter.
Don’t Wait Until Spring to Organize
Summer is inviting us to go play outside. You may have tons of toys outside. When you’re bringing bikes in from the yard, hang them up on the storage hangers instead of only rolling them into the garage. Review the toys the kids were playing with and toss the ones that are in bad shape. Go ahead and donate the toddler toys the kids have outgrown. Check the state of your tools and equipment. This is the time to find out if the snow blower doesn’t work and needs to be replaced, assuming your leaf blower cannot do double duty.
If you manage to follow the tips in this article, you’ll be able to keep the outside of your home neat and tidy all season long.