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Fall TLC Sort & Store

shutterstock_18881389Fall is the perfect time to take care of home repair projects before shorter days as well as ice and snow make outdoor work difficult. It’s also important to put away summer items properly (cleaned and in good repair) so when you pull them out next spring, they’re ready to use.

Check Out These “To Do’s”: We have beautiful trees in Toronto, but it means that gutters and downspouts have to be cleaned spring AND fall. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding, especially when these freeze.

Clean and Put Away Garden Tools: Trowels and shovels need to be put inside a shed or shelter, cleaned and ready for next spring. As you clean your tools, make note of any rust that isn’t easily removed. Use steel wool to take off any visible rust and prevent rust from returning, coat metal parts with a thin layer of oil, such as WD-40

For storing garden tools use this tip. Fill a bucket with fine sand, moistened with automotive oil, and stand tools upright in the bucket. (5 gallons of sand to half a cup of oil)

Watering Tools & Pipes: If there’s water inside the enclosed part of a hose, watering wand, or sprinkler, it could burst, split, or crack. So drain all the water from your watering tools and store them in a dry location out of the sun (sunlight can degrade hoses).

Also protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing.

Remove/Cover Window A/C Units: If you used window air conditioning units in the summer, remove them before the weather turns cold. If you must leave window A/C units in, cover the entire exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep cold air out.

Clean Dryer Vents: Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire. You can hire a duct cleaning specialist to clean the vents for you, or clean the vent yourself.

Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance.

Making sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order before you need to turn on the heat is an important safety measure.

Wood Decks: Your deck needs a bath before winter sets in. Otherwise, mold, fungi, and mildew can grow and stain the surface for an unhappy surprise next spring.

Sweep off any debris and then scrub with deck soap.

Outdoor Furniture: The type of furniture determines how you winterize it, but like everything, a good cleaning is essential. Ensure your cushions are ready for next summer. Clean with a little soap and water (not in the washing machine) and let them air dry before storing or covering them.

Sort, Toss, Give-Away: As you repair and clean, put aside items that either go out in the trash, or hopefully, you can give away at a local charity or yard sale.