The fall chill is here, and snow’s about to fly in the Adirondacks! Now is the time to start planning your landscaping and property maintenance tasks to prepare for the colder weather. Check out our Winter and Fall Home Maintenance Checklist to keep your chore efforts efficient and on point.
From raking the lawn to protecting shrubs, there are a variety of tasks Adirondackers can do to protect home and property from winter wear and tear. Read on for advice from Adirondack Premier Properties experts to get a jump on your fall and winter home maintenance!
Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
1. Raking And Cleaning Leaves
The first task on your fall home maintenance checklist that usually demands your attention is leaves. Blowing leaves can pile up quickly in your yard and other areas.
After you’re certain that most have fallen, pull out your rake to clean up the leaf litter that has accumulated. Be sure to check for places where leaves can blow in and pile up like under porches, against fences, etc.
Removing leaves in fall can save a lot of winter shoveling headaches, as well as your back. Wet leaves mixed with snow can make snow removal more challenging than it already is. Additionally, removing leaves in the fall saves on spring clean up time. Wet leaves plastered onto grass can be tough to remove after the spring thaw.
2. Check Gutters
After the leaves are raked from your yard, the next job to tackle on the fall home maintenance checklist is your gutters. The main objective is to make sure they are clear of any debris.
Debris can accumulate in gutters easily, especially if snow and ice start to build up. Making sure they are clear will make the freeze/ thaw process smoother during late fall and early spring. Free gutters allow melt water to move away from your home reducing potential for run off related damage. Keeping gutters clear also reduces the chance of the gutters breaking or falling.
3. Cover Shrubs
Unfortunately, the Lake Placid region is not the ideal climate for most shrubs and bushes. Grazing wildlife also pose a challenge to landscaping shrubs wintering over well. Adding some shrub care to your fall home maintenance checklist is a must if you are looking to get any longevity from your plants.
Covering your shrubs and bushes is one of the best ways to ensure their winter survival. There are multiple ways to accomplish this. The first is wood shrub guards that go over the top a-frame style. A second way is to cover with a shrub jacket for larger shrubs that are too tall for the guards. There are many DIY options to help you make protective coverings for your shrubs.
4. Clear Any Branches or Trees
If you have any dead branches or trees near your home, now is time to add their removal to your fall home maintenance checklist. Getting them cleared before winter winds and snow storms will bring big peace of mind. Worrying about tree damage as you deal with the many other hardships of harsh winter weather is avoidable.
Removing dead branches or trees is a big safeguard for your property. The weight of snow and ice can cause weak limbs or trees to break and damage your structures, landscaping and surfaces. Removing these hazards before negative temps, winds and snowfall sets in is ideal.
5. Run Motorized Lawn Care Equipment
After a summer of mowing, weed whacking, sawing and cleaning the yard, storing your motorized machinery properly is another item to add to your fall home maintenance checklist. Simply leaving equipment in the shed or garage as is can cause damage to the machine and make it unusable for spring chores.
Leaving gas in the tank over the winter is one of the surest ways to damage your equipment. Remember to run it dry before you put it away. Consider following some of these other lawn equipment care tips to be sure your tools and machines will be ready to go after spring thaw.
6. Check and Clean Boiler or Fireplaces
When the first cold nights of fall set in, it’s natural to start thinking about your heat sources and keeping your home warm. Add tune up and cleaning of your home’s heating systems to your fall home maintenance checklist to ensure all is ready when the cold weather comes to stay.
Having your heating equipment cleaned and inspected professionally in the fall will give you winter peace of mind. Before you need to run it full time through the winter, get your fireplace or boiler cleaned and inspected, and give it a good test run. These steps reduce the chance of equipment malfunction and failure.
Reliable and well running heating equipment prevents frozen pipes and other difficulties that come with equipment failure during a cold snap. Schedule a full inspection and service each fall to protect your home.
7. Winterizing and Energy Audit
Depending on your home, you may want to consider a DIY energy audit to look for areas where you can increase winterization. Once you identify problem areas, there are many DIY steps you can take to increase your home’s efficiency.
For example, if you have single pane or older windows, you can add plastic window covers to save some heat. Additionally, if you have older doors that are not used in winter, you can caulk/weather strip them to keep cold air out.
Inside the home, if any pipes are in cooler rooms that could freeze, consider heat tape or foam covers to increase insulation. This extra step to insulate pipes might help you avoid the hassle of frozen and burst pipes.
Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
8. Salt And Sand
One of the last items on your fall home maintenance checklist is to start storing up sand and salt. Late fall and early spring weather can bring icy conditions, so get sand and salt on hand before the dead of winter. Throughout the winter, maintain these stores and use salt or sand as needed to make it easier to move around your property.
9. Shoveling/ Snowblowing
The Tri-Lakes region around Lake Placid is well known for its snowy and cold winter weather. Having shovels and other snow removal equipment at the ready is a must do on the fall home maintenance checklist for Adirondack homeowners.
When winter is in full swing, ensuring that everyone can get to work or school by clearing pathways and driveways is essential. Depending on the size of the property, some homeowners choose to use a snowblower or plow for snow removal.
If you use a snowblower, be sure to start it up, inspect it and change the oil well before the snow flies. This gives you time to make any necessary repairs or get it to the shop before you need it to dig out from a storm.
10. Clear Ice
Icicles can build up with changing weather and freeze/ thaw cycles, so keeping an eye on icicle formation and size is important to prevent accidents and property damage. Icicles can break off and land on property or people, so knocking them down before this happens is a good safety precaution.
As your prepare your home for fall and winter, contact our agency if you are considering renting or selling in the near future. We’re happy to help you brainstorm ideas for how to increase the value of your home or increase your curb appeal. Our experienced forever agents know the Adirondack real estate market and the Lake Placid region well, and are a great resource when making home related decisions!