With Halloween just around the corner, the autumn season is in full swing. Although most people think of Seattle as the state of evergreens, a colorful fall season still awaits all who live here. Summer foliage transforms into reds, yellows, and oranges. Leaves start to drop towards the ground. Kids go back to school.
It’s the season of pumpkin spice lattes (and everything else!), cozy sweaters, and hot spiced cider. And another thing that happens during fall? You take the time to get your home ready for the changing of the seasons. That way, when winter comes around you will be more than prepared.
So what steps can a forward-thinking homeowner or tenant take to make sure their home is all prepared as the days continue to get shorter and the weather gets colder?
Let’s take a look at seven ways to get your home ready for fall.
1. Clean Your Gutters and Drain Spouts
While it may rain all year round in Seattle, autumn is still a great time to take extra precautions towards protecting your home. Make sure your downspouts are clear to prevent any water from overflowing and puddling around your home. Sweep any fallen leaves that have accumulated; they can easily pile up and create a block.
A clogged drainage system can lead to everything from leaks to harmful and health-threatening mold if the water accumulates and enters your basement. Plus, continuous water spillage can create a slippery sidewalk, which can be hazardous for any passersby. Taking the time to clear and clean the drainage system can save you a lot of headache and money in the long run- you can consider it preventive care for your home.
2. Double Check For Safety
Test out all the safety features in your home as autumn rolls in. Be sure to replace any old and expired batteries in your carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm. Winter is baking season, after all, and if there is an accident in the kitchen, you will want to be absolutely certain that you are prepared in case something goes wrong. Check to make sure your home fire extinguisher is in good working order as well.
3. Prepare For An Emergency
Now is also a great time to restock your emergency preparedness kit. Make sure your kids and spouse know where it is located in case of an emergency. Check to see whether any supplies have expired. Change out the batteries in your flashlight, replace any ancient food items with fresh ones, and be sure to include plenty of water nearby.
4. Bring Your Outside Furniture In
It may be designed to withstand changing outdoor weather conditions, but keeping your furniture outdoors throughout the entire year is a good way to guarantee that you will need to replace your furniture soon. Bring your outside furniture in during the winter. You can always take it back out for summer days.
Or, if indoor storage is not a good option for you, at the very least invest in a good high-quality waterproof tarp or cover. That way you can protect your nice outdoor furniture from bearing the brunt of the worst of the elements, and then remove the covers when you want to enjoy an afternoon outdoors.
5. Watch Out For Drafts
If your home heating system goes on and you just can’t seem to keep the house warm during those blustery autumn evenings, the culprit may be a drafty window. A drafty window can cause huge amounts of lost heat in the home. The more heat you lose, the more you will have to pay in heating bills- and the more chilly you will be at home.
Thoroughly inspect all your doors and windows to make sure that they are sealed up tight and not letting any air flow through. In Seattle, many homes have been constructed with single pane windows that can let in more of a draft, unlike in places where it snows during the winter.
Watching out for drafts is not always a high priority for Seattle home builders, so it’s worth addressing the problem in a more manageable way. You can try using custom fitted vinyl and foam window inserts to block up any air gaps that would otherwise let heat out and drafts in.
6. Adjust Your Lighting
With days getting shorter and nights getting darker earlier in the day, fall is the right season to adjust your lighting. Check that all your lightbulbs are working, and dry. Change any lights outside that need replacing.
Consider swapping your white hued lightbulbs to lightbulbs with a yellow or orange tint. Unlike summer, when bright, cool lights helped contrast against the heat of the sunny season, in autumn you will most likely want to create a more warm and cozy atmosphere.
You may even want to consider swapping to smart lightbulbs. Smart lightbulbs sync to your home Wi-fi network so you can program them to adjust to different brightness and color settings. That simple adjustment can make your home space feel just that much cozier, creating an inviting feeling for you to curl up with a good book, watch a classic autumn rom-com, or bake cookies with the family.
7. Tend To Your Garden
As autumn progresses, temperatures will continue to drop, so it’s a good idea to take some precautions that can help protect your lawn and garden. Trim any and all bushes, trees, and shrubs so that they can bulk out again once spring comes around. Pruning the bushes allows them to conserve energy over the winter.
Weed and mulch your garden to help protect it from winter weather. Pull out any remnants of your vegetable or flower garden (aside from annuals and perennials) and turn over the soil so it will stay ready for planting for next year. Plant any seeds or sprouts that will lie dormant over winter and burst forth in spring, like daffodils and cold weather vegetables.
And fertilize your lawn. Even during cold winter weather, your grass is still alive and active at the roots level. So spreading fertilizer over the lawn now will keep the grass healthy and ready to burst when springtime arrives.
The change of seasons is always a good opportunity to make necessary adjustments around the house. Take the time to make a thorough inspection of your home, and then you can rest assured that you have everything in order, and that everything you need is prepared for whatever weather may lie ahead over the next several months. That way, you and your family can relax and enjoy a warm, cozy winter indoors.