Top 5 Tasks for October
If you only do 5 maintenance tasks for your home during October, here are the ones that we recommend you do, that will keep your home and yard looking nice, save on your energy bill, and help you save you money.


The 5 maintenance tasks that we recommend that you do in October are:

Fall lawn care

Weatherstripping and caulking inspection

Window inspection and cleaning

Dishwasher routine care

Household goods donations


FALL LAWN CARE

The first task that we suggest for October is doing fall lawn care. Autumn is an important season for taking care of your lawn, as the cooler temperatures allow good conditions for strengthening your lawn to both help prepare it for the rigors of winter and to help it get off to a good start in the spring. Taking care of your lawn in fall involves 9 activities:
Inspecting for disease and pests.

pH monitoring.

Checking for de-thatching.

Checking for aeration.

Leaf removal.

Fertilizing and weed control.

Re-seeding bare spots.

Overseeding.

Top dressing.

These 9 lawn care activities are described in more detail in our video "Fall Lawn Care Tasks and Tips".

A helpful accessory for this task is a Lawn PH acidity tester

WEATHERSTRIPPING & CAULKING INSPECTION

Over time, weatherstripping and caulking can break down, making your home less airtight, and therefore increasing your energy costs and creating opportunities for pests to invade your home. October is a great time to inspect your weatherstripping and caulking, and to make any necessary improvements and repairs before the colder weather of winter sets in.

Important places to check your weatherstripping include:
Windows (around the frames and at bottom of the window).

Doors (around the door jam and at bottom of the door).

Sliding glass doors (around the frames and at end of the sliding doors).

Garage doors (around the frame and at the bottom of the door).

Attic access doors.

Important places to check your caulking include:
Windows (where outer frames meet the exterior siding).

Doors (where outer frames meet the exterior siding).

Foundation (where the foundation meets the sill plate).

Pipes and wires (where they penetrate outside walls).

Roof vents, flashing, and chimneys.

Edges where building materials meet.

Electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, and ceiling fixtures.

A helpful accessory for this task is Door & Window Weatherstripping

WINDOW INSPECTION & CLEANING

October is a great month for ensuring that your windows are ready for the winter, and are cleaned to allow the maximum sunlight in, which will help you reduce your heating bills. When inspecting your windows, you should check the following:


Broken panes
. Broken panes should be replaced, as double-pane windows they lose their insulation properties when they are cracked.

Caulk and glazing.
Check caulk around windows for cracking and deterioration, and repair as necessary. Check glazing around window panes and repair as necessary (see costs and reviews of caulk).

Window operation.
If hinged window panes stick, they may need to be sanded, or sometimes a little Vaseline can help lubricate them. If your storm windows are in a track, you can use silicone spray to help keep them moving freely.

Window hardware
. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers, and window slides (see costs and reviews of window lubricants).

Cleaning windows.
For tips on how to make your job of cleaning your windows easier and more effective, you can see our video "Window Washing Tips of the Pro`s", which is included in our October 2011 newsletter.

A helpful accessory for this task is a Professional Window Cleaning Kit

DISHWASHER ROUTINE CARE

To keep your dishwasher working properly and from leaking water in your kitchen, once a year you should do 6 maintenance tasks for your dishwasher:

1. Clean filter and trap
. Inside the dishwasher, the filter and trap are at the bottom where the water drains out. For most models, the filter and trap lift out so that they can be cleaned with a stiff brush.

2. Clear spray arm holes
. Food particles and mineral deposits can clog the small holes in the spray arms. Take the spray arms out of the dishwasher, and ream the holes out with a stiff wire. Shake out any loose debris.

3. Clear the "air trap."
Some models have a gap in the discharge plumbing to ensure that water does not backflow into the household water supply. If the unit has an air gap it should be checked and cleaned.

4. Check and tighten any loose water hose clamps.

5. Check the door seal gasket for any cracks or leaks.

6. Check the pre-heating mechanism.
If your dishwasher has a pre-heating mechanism for when inlet water is too cold, this should be checked in accordance with your manufacturer's recommendations.

For 25 tips that will help you to reduce energy, improve performance, and extend the useful life of your dishwasher, you can see our video "25 Dishwasher Tips", which is included in our October 2011 newsletter.

HOUSEHOLD GOODS DONATIONS

And lastly, October is a great month for beginning to organize your donations of household goods. The benefits of making household goods donations include:
Creates a year-end tax deduction.

Creates more usable space in your home.

Gives satisfaction of helping those who are less fortunate.


Items that you can consider for donation include:
clothing

toys and sports equipment

electrical appliances

cell phone and computers

eyeglasses

white goods (e.g., washers, dryers, refrigerators)

lawn care equipment

The items for donation should be in good condition or be able to be repaired, as most agencies will not receive items that are beyond repair. And remember to get a receipt for your donation for tax documentation purposes

SUMMARY

We hope this article and video has helped motivate you to do at least 5 routine maintenance tasks for October, and these will help you to protect your home from the winter, save energy, and save money.

Info provided by HomeWizard.com