Quick, someone tell us we’re not the only list-nuts in Texas. Someone tell us that September is not too early to make a list and check it twice.
Whew, thanks. That’s a relief! Because yeah, as the heat of summer fades into the crispness of fall, as daylight hours recede and we find ourselves spending more time indoors, we start thinking of all the tasks that need doing before the inevitable winter cold snap. (Ick.)
To make a life a little easier – or, at the very least, to fast-track your list-making – here are the tasks that will be occupying our weekends in the near future:
• Give Health a Shot: Flu season is lurking just around the corner, so now’s the time to get your flu shot. (And catch up on other vaccines, if necessary.)
• Time for a Home Checkup: It’s not just you who needs a checkup; with the change of season comes the quarterly reminder to check smoke alarms, CO monitors, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment.
• Practice Your Escape Plan: Speaking of quarterly reminders, the start of fall signals the time to practice your fire & disaster escape plan. This is particularly important if you have young kids, who need repetition to commit routine to memory.
• Get Your Mind in the Gutter: As soon as the trees are bare, it’s time to clean out your gutters and downspouts, one last time in 2015.
• Check the Roof: There is nothing worse than freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow to destroy an already damaged roof. Before the mercury drops, have a professional check your roof from corner-to-corner.
• Staunch the Flow: Cracks and gaps in windowsills, doorframes, and insulation can be the bane of your winter existence. Keep warm and keep your energy bill low by taking preventive measures: replace worn weather-stripping, re-caulk holes, and make other fixes before your pricey heating starts leaking out through the cracks.
• Show Your Furnace Some Love: And speaking of heat, before you crank up the thermostat have your heating system inspected by a pro. If you schedule in early fall (like, now!), you’ll avoid the seasonal rush and have plenty of time to fix any issues that come up.
• Make Walkways All They’re Cracked Up to Be: A crack in the sidewalk is a summertime nuisance; a crack in the sidewalk is a wintertime disaster. Check your sidewalks, driveway, front walk, porch steps, front entry, etc. for cracks (1/8+ inch thick signals a problem), as well as for loose planks, squeaky steps, and other walkway hazards.
• Happy Hearth, Happy Home: Roaring fires are cozy – until they light your home ablaze. So before you fire up that fireplace, have a professional chimney sweep check for hazards.
• Irrigate Your Irrigation: Outdoor pipes and irrigation systems are prone to freezing, which can cause major problems (and require major repairs). Winterize your systems by shutting off all outdoor water feeds, then pumping out any remaining water. Check with the manufacturer of sprinklers and other systems, to make sure you’ve followed all recommended winter precautions.
What other must-dos make it onto your fall checklist?