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(NAPS) - Every homeowner's to-do list will vary by the weather--cool and rainy, sunny and dry--but from indoor to outdoor projects, it is important to prepare your home for weather changes and make the transition easier on yourself and your home. Here, from an assortment of experts, are a few must-do's to prepare your home for cooler weather:
1) Beautify Your Fireplace. When temperatures drop, many families light up the fireplace to relax and wind down from the day. Before you do, be sure to follow these cleaning tips. Make sure the floor around the fireplace is well covered with drop cloths. Mix a solution of high-alkaline cleaner and one ounce of chlorine bleach per gallon of warm water. Wet the surface of the fireplace well with the solution, but do not use so much that it runs. Dirty water running down the face may cause hard-to-remove streaks. Scrub the solution in with a brush and rinse well. If you are not comfortable, you may want to call in a professional from Merry Maids.
2) Keep Your Floors and Furniture Looking New. The best way to keep the look of your decor is very simple--keep up with the cleaning. ServiceMaster Clean experts recommend performing the following tasks consistently to enhance and maintain your home: Vacuum regularly, dust your floor, respond to spots immediately, deep clean carpets once a year, deep clean and treat hard-surface floors, and rid upholstery of oils that soil.
3) Feed Your Lawn. The experts from TruGreen know a little preparation with your lawn and landscape can go a long way. Late summer to early fall is the right time to feed your lawn to ensure its health and vitality. Lawns recovering from heat stress require the proper blend of nutrients to become thicker and develop a better root system. Heat-stressed lawns also need fertilizer in order to complete their growing season with healthy grass and a pleasing appearance.
4) Scale Away Pests. Rodents and insects will stick around in cooler weather, carrying harmful bacteria into your home through cracks and crevices. To protect your home against the nuisance, experts from Terminix advise placing weather stripping on the bottom of all exterior doors to ensure they seal tightly. Use caulk to seal any holes or cracks in your home. Eliminate cracks or openings around pipes and utility lines that enter the home. Make sure to close the flue damper when the fireplace is not in use. Move piles of firewood and other debris away from the home's foundation. Trim tree branches and shrubs away from the house so rodents do not have access to your roof or other entry points in the home's exterior.
5) Check Your Heating System. Before firing up your heater, the experts at American Home Shield recommend having an annual system-maintenance service performed at least a month before the heating season begins. Other steps you can take to ensure proper heating include moving furniture that has been placed over floor vents to clear the airflow, checking your filters every month to ensure efficient operation, and visually inspecting your exhaust vent for rust, damage or deterioration.
6) Prepare Your Plumbing System. Plumbing is like any other machine: It requires basic maintenance to remain functioning properly. Insulate pipes prone to freezing, such as those near an outside wall, those in unheated areas of your home or any exposed plumbing such as outside faucets. Keep your water meter box covered with its lid and wrap outdoor or crawl-space pipes with electric heat tape or insulation to prevent freezing.
You can learn more at www.servicemaster.com and 866-348-7672.