Summer’s On The Way Out
Just yesterday, I was finally able to go outside without melting into a puddle of goo. That mean’s summer’s coming to an end and fall will soon be starting. Everyone talks about spring cleaning, but we shouldn’t forget that fall is a time we should clean up, too. Why? Well, once winter comes, you’re going to be stuck inside a lot and you’ll want to have a clean house to live in, right? While it’s not close to winter yet, it’s easy to keep putting off big jobs and suddenly find ourselves with jobs left unfinished when the winter cold does strike. So, in the interest of planning, here are 5 fall projects you should be prepping to do.
1. Deep Cleaning Your House
As I said, you’re going to be spending A LOT of time indoors once it gets cold. If your house isn’t clean, that’s going to be quite unpleasant. Cleaning house during the winter is never fun, so you’ll want to do it before it gets too cold. The easiest way to deep clean your house is to start with a checklist. The hardest part of any job is getting started and one of the things about deep cleaning that makes us procrastinate is not knowing where to start. A checklist gives you some direction, as well as letting you see your progress as you get things done. It helps make the job seem less overwhelming, so you won’t be tempted to wait until it’s too late.
2. Carpet Cleaning
If you want your carpets to really last, you should have them professionally cleaned at least twice a year (maybe more, depending on how much foot-traffic you get). The best time is either the fall or the spring, but whichever you choose, you should definitely do a deeper clean of your carpet in the fall before winter comes. There’s a lot of chemicals that get put on the road in winter to keep the roads from icing up. Those chemicals are killer on your carpet. If they mix with the debris that’s been building up for the rest of the year, the winter months can do some serious damage.
When you clean your carpets in the fall, you’ll want to do more than just vacuum. Such a casual clean works fine during the months you’re spending more time outdoors, but it always misses stuff. To make sure you get your carpet ready, you’ll also want to spray it down with carpet cleaning foam and scrub it in. Let it sit for a few hours so it has time to break down the grime, then vacuum it a second time. You’ll want to do this again in the spring to get out the winter gunk, as well.
3. Blowing Out Your Sprinklers
Blowing out your sprinklers is important if you want to keep your sprinklers from bursting. Water expands as it freezes, so if there’s any water left in your pipes when winter hits, it can crack them as it expands. This can lead to serious flooding in the spring when it all thaws. Then, not only do you have to pay to fix your pipes, you also have to pay to clean up the flooding. That’s an expense you really don’t need.
This will be something you want to do in late fall, after you’ve hit the point where you stop watering your lawn. So, why am I mentioning this now instead of later? CV Lawn King, a landscaping company in Cache Valley, has shared many stories of people who waited to schedule their blow-outs until the last minute, only to find out that everybody else did the same thing and there are no people left who have time to do it.
4. Air Duct Cleaning
This is one not a lot of people think about. It’s not something you need to do often, especially with modern HVAC systems, but there are definitely reasons why you should. If you live in Cache Valley, like I do, fall’s probably a good time to do it in preparation for the inversion, when the cold air drags the pollution back down into the valley. In other places, spending time in doors means you’ll be breathing the air a lot, so you’ll want to make sure it can properly circulate and isn’t blowing dust or pet dander on you. It’s no fun breathing stale air.
5. Car Safety Check-Up
A few years ago, Utah passed a law that removed safety inspections as a requirement for registering your car. As many critics have pointed out, this was a bad move. Nobody means to ignore their safety inspections, but it’s so easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everything else. Missing a safety check-up can put you at risk of car problems.
Fall’s probably a good time to get it done. Why? Because in winter, any problems a routine safety check-up will spot get much worse. Brake or tire problems? Imagine how much worse it will be when the roads are icy. Bad wipers? One snow-storm is all it takes for you to end up driving blind. Engine trouble? Imagine breaking down in the middle of winter and needing to wait in the cold for a tow-truck to come. You always think it can’t happen to you until it very suddenly does.
It’s best to do regular maintenance rather than wait for a problem. A quick check-up with your mechanic can catch problems while they’re still small. Often, these problems can be fixed up quickly and with relatively little cost, especially when compared to the hundreds – or occasionally thousands – of dollars it can cost for full repairs.
Normally, we wouldn’t be making an article about fall to-dos in the summer, but we’ve had several companies we’ve talked to tell us about how so many people wait until it’s too late and all the work gets backed up into the last minute. So, this year, we’re making an early reminder for everyone.
Don’t wait until the last minute. It’ll be harder to get everything done in a rush. For those occasions when you need professional work done, you might find all the local businesses swamped. While now isn’t the time to be doing all of this, now’s the time to be planning for it. Having a plan really helps you get started, so planning for it now will make getting it done later easier. It’ll help you space all the necessary jobs out. You’ll avoid being overwhelmed by all that needs to be done and really reduce the stress in your life.