City offers fall home maintenance tips

Metro Creative

Fall clean up includes a discounted yard waste disposal Nov. 1 to 3.

Fall is the perfect time to take care of home maintenance projects before winter weather arrives.

Exterior projects such as pruning your trees and shrubs, cleaning your gutters and downspouts and raking fallen leaves give your home a well-manicured look now and encourages healthy growth next year. Once your trimming is done, don’t forget to take advantage of the half-priced fall brush drop-off at Public Works. Gladstone residents can dispose of brush and yard waste from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 1 to 3, at 4000 NE 76th St.

You can put your raked leaves in a compost pile or use them as mulch. Whatever you do, don’t waste fallen leaves because they’re an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter. You can also add them to flower beds to put a winter blanket on your garden. Stop by the Community Development department for a brochure on composting and compost bin requirements, or get the brochure online at www.gladstone.mo.us/documents/permits/.

The fall is also a good time to complete larger projects that were set aside during summer’s heat. You may have considered adding a garage or carport to protect your vehicle from the snow or building a shed for storing lawn equipment until next year. You can find information available on how to plan for these projects at www.gladstone.mo.us/documents/permits or visit the Community Development department to pick up a permit and a brochure.

Lower humidity and cooler temperatures make fall a good time to paint the exterior of your home. A new coat of exterior paint improves curb appeal while protecting your home from moisture, fading and more.

With cooler weather coming, you should take some time to boost the energy efficiency throughout your home. You will want to change your summer screens to storm doors and install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors and/or add insulation to the attic to help prevent drafts and lower heating bills.

And, don’t forget to replace the filter in your furnace or have your furnace serviced for the winter.

To prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, ensure that they are well insulated. Remember to shut off the water to exterior faucets before the weather drops below freezing and remove and drain your hoses. You should know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze.

The cooler weather makes having a garage sale more appealing and can give you a chance to get rid of unwanted items that are cluttering your yard or garage. There’s no fee for a garage sale permit and you can apply online at www.gladstone.mo.us/e-Services/GarageSales.php.

Check these items off your list this season and you can rest easy knowing that your home and yard are ready for winter.

This article is the tenth of a monthly series from the city of Gladstone to help residents understand maintenance regulations and enforcement.