October is here. Crisp mornings, shorter days, and pumpkin-spice-everything have arrived. But before you cozy up to the fireplace with your favorite horror flick, check your to-do list! We hate to be a buzzkill, but winter will be here in just a few short weeks. So taking care of all those home maintenance tasks before the snow and ice make an appearance might be a good idea.
If you’re at a loss of where to start- don’t fret! Like always, we are sharing a list of a few October home maintenance tasks to tackle. Keep reading to find out what they are, and click this link to read the entire list!
1. Clean your dryer vents
This one’s a lot more serious than it sounds. Excess lint can dramatically increase the risk of fire.
“A key indicator of a dryer vent needing to be cleaned is if clothes aren’t drying as fast as they usually do, or if it takes multiple cycles to get them completely dry,” says Maria Vizzi of Indoor Environmental Solutions.
DIY: Prevent buildup from the get-go by emptying your lint trap every single time you use your dryer. If possible, move your dryer closer to an exterior wall; if your vent pipe is particularly long or has to snake around corners, you’re at a greater risk of a clog.
Call in a pro: If you want peace of mind that all your vents are squeaky clean, call in a professional. You’ll spend anywhere from $90 to $180. Look for a dryer technician specially trained by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
2. Seal your outdoor surfaces
Cold temperatures and snow can cause your paint to peel, leading to moisture intrusion and wood rot, says Brian Osterried, a product manager at paint company PPG. Protect your exterior surfaces by applying a stain and sealant.
DIY: Clean the surface first—taking care to remove any built-up ickiness between planks or in crevices—using a screwdriver or putty knife. Wait at least 48 hours before sanding the surface using 80-grit sandpaper, then sweep or vacuum, and apply your sealant.
Call in a pro: The cost of professional sealant jobs vary depending on size and the surface to be sealed, but for an average deck, expect to spend around $800.
3. Store your yard furniture
The fastest way to make your outdoor furniture look faded is to leave it out in the elements. Store your grill, deck chairs, and outdoor set in a shed or garage.
Shortcut: If you don’t have the storage space, invest in durable covers for your furniture to protect it from snow and rain.
Call in a pro: We suppose you could hire a personal assistant for this task (who are you, the Queen of England?!), but this one really just requires a little lifting and five minutes of your time. You’ve got this!
4. Stow that hose
If you live where it snows (yes, it’s time for that word again—sigh), it’s a good idea to drain and store your garden hose before temps start significantly dropping.
“Hoses with water in them will freeze and burst,” says Lisa Turner, author of “House Keys: Tips and Tricks from a Female Home Inspector.”
DIY: Here’s a clever hack: Unroll your hose on a downslope and then recoil it upslope so the water drains out, Turner recommends. You can store the hose outside in a shed or underhang if most of the water is removed. But it’s best to stash it inside if possible.
Next, shut off the water supply to your external faucets. Then drain the line by turning the faucet on and letting the residual water drain out.
For extra protection from freezing temps, install a foam insulator cover over each external faucet.
Call in the pros: If you see any faucet damage or leaking that won’t stop, call in a pro ASAP to repair or replace it. Expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $300.