Pick a warm sunny after noon and get those outside chores done to save money and keep your place looking well cared for. Here are ten chores that every homeowner must do to ensure a tight, weather proof, energy efficient house and ship shape yard.
Clean and store the patio and garden furniture. Get a soft brush like you wash the car with and while you are getting that, get some car wash solution as well. An article by Arianne Cohen in the October 2010 Woman’s Day magazine references Mary Ulibarri of Ludeman’s Fireplace and Patio in Beaverton Oregon, she tells us to mix warm water with a carwash solution because that is formulated to take off the outside type dirt and grime. Scrub all your patio furniture down and rinse well with the hose then just let it air dry.
Be sure to rub off any rust and touch up the finish to stop the rusting process before it has a chance to get started. Wash fabric and cushions and make sure they are absolutely clean and dry before you store them.
You need to deep water all your trees and shrubs and give the entire yard one more sprinkler session then turn off all the outside water. After the main outside water valve is shut off you must open all the faucets to drain them to keep the water won’t freeze in them and burst them. If you have an in ground irrigation system either use an air compressor or call a professional to come use an air compressor to blow the water out of the lines so it won’t freeze and split the lines.
Rake up all the leaves and debris in the yard and compost it, clip off all the dead flowers and wilted foliage and tidy up the beds and borders.
Rake vigorously over any bare spots and reseed them.
Fertilize and mulch. Pay special attention to fruit and decorative deciduous trees, they put energy into root growth in the winter so be sure they have optimum conditions.
Check your roof for any areas that are damaged. Go up in the attic and check for water spots on the underside of the roof boards to locate possible leaks. Fix any loose or missing roof components now before the first big storm of the winter. More information and additional chores can be found at http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107899
Check all the window and door casements for drafts and damage. Sometimes as a house settles or shifts with age the door or window casements get a little torqued and drafts develop. Shim any areas that are out of alignment and caulk them. Follow directions on the caulk and make sure you are using the correct product. Read all the directions and precautions before you make your purchase.
Clean your chimney or get a professional chimney sweep to clean it for you.
Check the flashing around your chimney and make sure there is no damage that could allow water to seep down around the outside of the chimney and enter the house.
Check all your siding. If you have vinyl siding make sure it is not damaged, cracked or split. Make sure both metal and vinyl siding are properly seated and have not been loosened in the wind. Wood siding should be sanded and retouched if the paint is cracked or peeling.
More information and advise on weatherizing your house can be found at
When you have done all your chores it is time to have a cup of hot spiced cider and sit back on the porch steps savoring the warm days of fall.