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Your guide to autumn home maintenance with AAMI
Make the most of cooler temperatures and sunny days to get on top of your home maintenance before winter sets in and you want to curl up on the couch.
With summer scorchers behind us and winter frosts ahead, autumn is the ideal time for a bit of home maintenance. Here's how to fix up your home and garden so they’re spick and span.
Fertilise your grass and plants
Most fertilisers should be applied in spring and autumn, so give your grass and pot plants a bit of TLC to help them survive winter.
Clean your gutters and drains
Not only can clogged gutters cause overflowing pipes, but they can also damage exterior surfaces and cause water to seep inside. Protect your home by cleaning them out in advance. If you haven't already, it might also be a good time to install some gutter guards to halve your work next time.
Sweep your chimney
If your chimney smells musty or dirty or is dropping soot onto the hearth, then you ought to book a chimney sweep to give it a good clean out. In fact, experts recommend cleaning your chimney once a year to reduce your risk of a chimney fire and excess smoke.
Remove dead branches and trees
Dead trees and branches can be a hazard in strong winds, so now is a good time to cut them down to prepare for winter and spring storms.
Mulch your garden beds
Not only does mulch help your garden beds retain water but it also keeps soil warmer in winter to reduce the risk of your plants freezing.
Rake up dead leaves
Don't leave deciduous leaves to cover your grass as they can compact when wet and suffocate your lawn, as well as create a haven for insects. Use your rake or leaf blower to remove them or mulch them into fine pieces to add to your garden beds.
Seal cracks and gaps
Cracks and gaps around doors and windows account for up to 25 percent of a home's heat loss* so cover them up before the weather really cools. You can use gap filler for cracks in walls or weather stripping around doors and windows. Weather stripping does deteriorate in time, so it's worth giving all of your doors and windows a once-over and replacing anything that looks damaged. A door snake is also a smart investment for stopping drafts under doors and subsequently reducing your heating bill.
Test your heater
Don't wait until the first really cold day of winter to discover your heater is playing up. Test it in autumn and get it serviced every couple of years to ensure you're not competing with the rest of the state for a repairman when the mercury dips.
Patch up your pathways
Concrete cracks or damaged pavement can be extra hazardous in wet conditions, so fix any broken bits or bulges before the weather turns. Also, keep your eyes peeled for any moss build-up that will become slippery when wet, and scrub it clean.
Oil your timber
Whether you've got wooden outdoor furniture, a deck or exposed timber panelling, regular oiling will keep them looking fresh. Experts** usually recommend oiling outdoor timber twice a year to protect it from the elements and help it last longer.
Change your smoke alarm battery
Use the end of daylight savings as a prompt to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms. Test your alarm monthly with a broom handle to confirm it beeps and keep your home – and family – safe.
Got your autumn home maintenance sorted? Don’t forget to check your AAMI Home Building and AAMI Home Contents insurance policies are up to date. Find out more!