In just a few days the official start of autumn begins. Often this is the most beautiful time of year here on the Harbor. It’s also the time of year we look ahead to preparing ourselves for the coming rain and cold weather.
We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor have a few autumn chores listed today. Some can wait a couple of weeks and others you might want to put on your “To Do” list for this weekend.
We’re not yet including all the ones related to falling leaves, because so far, we’re not seeing that here. Do a few of these chores now and enjoy any last sunny days.
Take the opportunity of decent weather to scrub mold off your home’s exterior.
Prepare to protect under-house or exposed water pipes with pipe sleeves or insulation.
Check the dryer’s vent flapper and screen for lint build-up. Does the flapper door work properly? This can be a secret passage for critters!
Check all outside lights. With days getting darker earlier, it’s a safety issue to have them in working order. Consider converting to LED lighting.
Change the self-closer on your screen door to the winter setting. This will close the door more quickly and help prevent a wind-damaged door – and cold air from coming into your house.
Lubricate your door hinges and locks with silicone spray.
Check windows and doors for cracked or crumbling caulk. Invest in a 35-year paintable caulk so you don’t have to do this chore again soon. Take a wet finger to smooth the caulk lines.
Cut vegetation back from your house. Doing so will help prevent mold and mildew which can gnaw away at the integrity of your home.
Do you have moss or other vegetation growing on your roof? Now’s the time to tend to that with a stiff nylon brush on a long pole. Powdered or liquid “Moss-Off” will kill and prevent future growth for a year or two.
Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles. Examine roof penetrations and flashings. Call a roofer or handyman if needed.
Make sure your chimney is clear of bird nests and soot. Call a chimney cleaner if you need to.
Place splash blocks or pipe extensions at each downspout. They help convey the rainwater away from your foundation or basement. They should be at least two feet from the foundation, but 10 feet is better.
Clean out any driveway drain boxes and make sure they drain properly. Adding a mesh screen helps keep debris out of the system.
Move any woodpiles so they are at least 20 feet from your house to discourage the migration of pests into your cozy abode.
Clean your window and window tracks. (We gave instructions in last week’s column explaining how to do that.)
Pay attention to the main heating device of your home. Does it need to be cleaned serviced or replaced? (We will give more specifics on just what to do in a future column.)
How are your door mats and floor mats – inside and out? Good mats can prevent a lot of dirt from coming inside as well as soak up water that can create inside moisture issues.
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