Much to the dismay of students and beach bums everywhere, the official end of summer is approaching. Even though warm temperatures may hold out well into October in some areas, it won't be long before lawns need to be raked and chimneys have to be cleaned for a cozy winter fireplace. Before the fall sneaks up on you and your home, take advantage of the nice weather while it lasts and check these end-of-summer DIY tasks off your list.
Clean gutters regularly to prevent roof and lawn damage.
Love Your Gutters
The very word "gutter" is synonymous with dirt and disgust. When it comes to a home's gutter system, though, the gutter is one of the most important features to be found on the exterior of the structure. As the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors explained on its gutter inspection guide, a neglected exterior drainage system can quickly result in extensive damage to a home and the land surrounding it1. That's why it's important to perform regular maintenance on gutter systems before autumn leaves and winter snowfall potentially wreak havoc.
For those with a ladder that can safely reach the roof of a home, inspecting and cleaning the gutter is easy. Carefully climb up to the roof and check gutters for any breaks or leaks. Then use a small spade or leaf blower to remove leaves and dirt built up inside them. Running water from a garden hose can also work to unclog hidden debris. If you can't safely reach all of your gutters or want a more thorough cleaning and inspection, don't hesitate to contact a professional.
"Spring Cleaning" is a full-scale operation for many households every year, but who says freshening up a home is only worthwhile during one season? Between Halloween and the holidays, the fall and early winter bring numerous opportunities for parties and events that will require a clutter-free house. With this in mind, it might not be a bad idea to reschedule that cleaning marathon for September. To get your home in great shape, follow a few basic tips:
- If you feel overwhelmed by cleaning and decluttering, start at the entrance of your home and work inward2. This is the first area guests will see as they enter, so it makes sense to begin with this area that will be the object of many first impressions.
- If you have closets absolutely overflowing with stuff, trying breaking up the cleaning into a few days and following a simple rule. For example, many people strive to find 10 items to keep, 10 to donate and 10 to throw out each day.
- As hard as it is to part with some items or pieces of clothing, stay realistic and goal-oriented. If a pair of pants hasn't been worn in months, it may be time to donate it.
Are you listening to what your lawn is trying to tell you? https://t.co/HP1oJ2iuOx pic.twitter.com/A85i9uZMzO
— Bob Vila (@BobVila) August 12, 2016
Preparing to Sell
If you have your sights set on a new home, you may find it harder to sell or buy at the end of summer. But that offers plenty of time to prepare for next spring and tackle the sale process just as the busy season picks up again. If you know a listing is in your future, plan ahead and prioritize projects that will enhance curb appeal3. This can cover many aspects of a home exterior, but it might be wise to start with what's easy and inexpensive. A fresh coat of paint is one of the best options for boosting home value through curb appeal. Likewise, lawncare and basic landscaping can go a long way toward improving buyer perceptions. Even a new front door may make a great investment in future home value.
1International Association of Certified Home Inspectors