End of Summer guide

No one wants to say goodbye to summer, but fortunately we have to start getting ready for Fall! It’s always hard transitioning from pool parties, Aperol spritzes, and all things summer, but now we can say hello to a cooler breeze, a warm pumpkin spice, and start decorating for Fall! Before we break out those pumpkins, let’s wrap up Summer the right way. It’s time to clean the barbecues, bring in the outdoor cushions and clean the gutters. Need help knowing what to do in preparation for fall? We’ll give you a list of the best things to do to gear up for our next season!


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  1. Clear your gutters

When leaves and debris clog you gutters, it is more prone to flooding over which in turn can lead to rotting and issues with your roof. On top of that, issues like roof leaks, insect infestation, water freezing and cracking causing structural damage can all happen if you don’t clean your gutters. Remove leaves and other debris from your drainpipe and gutters to prevent clogging. Grab a ladder, hose and a scoop and take out all the debris in your gutters. It can be time consuming, but try me it’s necessary!


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2. Outdoor Faucets & Sprinklers

If you live in an area where temperature reach below freezing, then your outdoor hoses, pipes and faucets can burst if they’re full of water. It’s not too difficult to replace your garden hose, but it is expensive to dig up your sprinkler system due to burst pipes. It’s best to disconnect your hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and drain the remaining water once it starts to reach temperatures below freezing.


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3. Clean your barbecue

It is really important to take care of your cooking equipment. And though its outside, your barbecue is no different. Always refer to the manual to check the exact requirements for your particular barbecue as many are different. When summer grilling is over, clean off your grill. To make it easier, heat up your barbecue on a high heat for around 15 to 20 minutes, this will burn off excess food and make it easier to scrape off during cleaning. As the barbecue cools down to a warm temperature, use a wire brush to clean the inside. Once it’s finally cool use simple soap water to clean and rinse it thoroughly to ensure no soap residue lingers. When your barbecue is clean inside and out… ALWAYS use a barbecue cover to ensure you will have it for years to come. Finally, store your barbecue inside, in your garage, garden shed, to keep it safe from the outdoor elements.


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4. Outdoor Lanterns

As daylight savings grows nearer, our days become darker much earlier. Though, daylight savings doesn’t start until November 3rd in 2019 our days will start to get darker as we get closer to November. It’s time to grab your outdoor lanterns and string lights and light the way. This is a perfect way to still enjoy the outdoors without having to go inside!


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5. Store outdoor cushions

When it starts to rain, it’s time to store your outdoor furniture, cushions, etc. To ensure your furniture lasts and your cushions don’t get moldy it’s important to store them away in a safe indoor space. If your outdoor cushion is covered with a removable, machine washable fabric, by all means toss it in the wash. But allow it to air dry, even if the label suggests machine drying. If your cushions aren’t machine washable, try scrubbing with a soft brush and a mild solution of warm water and soap. On a warm day, allow your outdoor furniture cushions to dry completely before you store them.


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6. Fireplace inspection

All fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. This will help prevent buildup of creosote, an oily and highly flammable byproduct of burning wood, giving you a safer fireplace. Clean out the firebox once a week. Keep in mind, coals can remain hot for up to three days, so make sure everything is completely cold. Fireplace inspection is extremely important for a safe home so you can enjoy the cozy fall nights at home with your family.


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7. Heating system serviced

First order of business when it comes to your heating system is to make sure the pilot light on your furnace is lit. When running your heat check for any signs of short-cycling. This is when your heating systems goes on and off for short periods. It may be a sign that your heat exchanger is overheating and causing the system to shut down. Hear a screeching sound? That may mean the blower has worn out and needs to be serviced or replaced. Remeber the average lifespan is 15 to 20 years, if these signs are occurring and your system is getting old, that may mean its time to get a new one.


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8. Storing summer fruits and vegetables

Did you know that Americans on average waste about $2,000 a year on food. It’s important to note that you can and should store your summer fruits and veggies! Canning pickles, green beans, corn, etc. will help preserve those summer flavors even in the middle of Winter! Not only canning, but fermenting your foods is a great way to help prevent food waste. Last but not least, freezing fruits are perfect for pies, a simple dessert or whatever else you may like during the colder months. It’s not as hard as you think to limit food waste and it can be fun too! Plan recipes around what you’ve stored and try something new!


Laura McIntosh