The time has come! Fall is the best part of the year to take care of the little things around your property that will make a big difference for you and your home. The change of season in Santa Cruz isn’t as drastic in comparison to other parts of the country but it’s still important to perform some routine home maintenance to your Santa Cruz home. Here are some reminders on how to prep your home for the cooler months. You’ll save money, time, and maybe even the safety of your home and livelihood.
Get Your Lawn Ready for Spring
Autumn is the best time of year to get your California lawn back to beautiful shape. Here’s a list of ways you can prep your grass for spring:
- Patch dead or damages spots: Remove the old turf, dig up 3 to 6 inches of soil in the bare portion, mix in compost, and level the surface. Patch the spot with the same grass seed as the existing lawn.
- Overseed: It’s best to do this between mid- October and November in our climate. Use up to 18 pounds of seeds per 1,000 square feet. Keep the soil moist until germination takes place, and don’t cut the lawn until it’s more than 2 inches tall. Over-seeding will improve the quality of your lawn by adding density and covering bare spots.
- Aerate: Most Californian lawn needs to be aerated due to foot traffic and dryness of soil. If you can’t push a stick past 6 inches into the ground, consider investing in a small aeration device. If you have a lot of space to cover, hire a professional. Make sure you have watered the ground so that the soil is moist before aerating.
- Fertilize: Cool and warm grasses benefit from fertilizing in early fall. You can fertilize by leaving grass clippings on the lawn which will decompose and naturally release nitrogen into the turf. Another way is to use combination lawn fertilizers which have both fast and slow release nitrogen which will continue you feed your grass through the months.
Inspect Your Roof For Damage
Before the rain and ice become the norm starting around November in our state, it’s worth taking a look at the overall health of your roof to avoid miserable leak issues during winter. Check for and repair broken or missing shingles. Look for damage to metal flashing in valleys and near vents and chimneys. Make sure to check your gutters for large accumulations of granules from shingles, a sign that your roof is losing its coating.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are your roof’s drainage system diverting gallons of water from your house’s exterior, which is why it’s crucial to keep this system flowing properly. Congested gutters can lead to damaged exteriors and a flooded basement. Before and after the leaves fly this fall, clean our you gutter with a small gardening shovel and a bucket. Covering them with mesh guards will help keep debris from returning. The goal is to direct the water from your property.
Clean Out Your Furnace
Since your furnace took the summer off, it’s best to inspect your furnace before you start using it again. Each month of use, it’s always a good idea change you filter once a month, because a dirty-dusty filter will cause stress on the heating system, and could be a potential fire hazard. If you schedule an annual furnace tune-up by a professional, it will prolong the life of your furnace and prevent expensive repairs.
Winter-Proofing Windows and Doors
Seal around windows and doors by caulking around windows and fixing up any weather stripping around exterior doors. Make sure to keep your windows open to let in natural sunlight. This adds heat to your space and will cut back on your heating bill. It’s best to have clean windows since they allow for maximum sun exposure.