In September, the comforts of home beckon. From feeding the birds to having the chimney cleaned, see if any of these to-dos make your list this month.
1. Remove A/C units. If you use window air conditioning units, now is the time to either remove them (preferable) or cover them outside with protective insulation.
2. Add weather stripping. If you have old weather stripping that has loosened, remove it and replace it with new material. New double-pane windows may not need weather stripping, but most older windows can benefit from it, and if you notice a draft, you should add weather stripping no matter how new the windows are.
3. Inspect the roof. Either get help and carefully climb a ladder so you can look at your roof, or hire someone to do this for you. Problems like damaged shingles and worn-out seals around vent pipes and chimneys are much easier to remedy if you catch them early.
4. Put some fall-blooming plants on the porch. Sweep away summer sand and dirt, and set out a few pots of chrysanthemums or other late-summer plants in gorgeous fall hues. It’s an affordable way to give your porch a quick fall makeover.
5. Seal gaps where mice could enter. Speaking of critters, take a close look around the exterior of your home and cover any and all gaps you find (even tiny ones!) so mice cannot get in. A heavy-duty screen or hardware cloth works well to cover exterior vents, and door sweeps attached at the bottom of doors will prevent furry critters from squeezing in.
6. Get covers for patio furniture and grill. If you plan to leave your patio furniture or grill outdoors through the fall and winter, cover them well and stow them beneath an overhang that will protect them from the worst weather.
7. Have chimney maintenance done and add a chimney cap. Built-up creosote inside the chimney can cause a house fire.
Also, there’s always the possibility that an animal family has taken up residence inside — and even if the critters have moved on, the nest itself could cause a major problem if it’s not cleared out. If you do not already have one, speak with your chimney sweep about adding a chimney cap. This metal cap with screened sides will stop animals from getting in and can protect your roof from any burning embers.