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Six tasks top your honey-do list for the fall
Follow expert's advice as a guideline in and out of your home
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Consider hiring a heating expert to check and clean your fireplace.

Change is in the air.

Temperatures are dropping as are the colorful leaves. And with fall’s arrival, the season’s shift serves as a reminder that home and lawn needs also change.

According to area experts, now’s the perfect time to tackle all those fall to-do list items. If you haven’t yet made your list, here’s an idea of some of the chores you should cross off:

Tend to fireplaces

Nothing says fall like a cozy fire in the fireplace. But, according to Gainesville Fire Marshall Chad Payne, nothing says danger quite like it, either.

“Chimney fires are responsible for a huge increase in our call volume,” he said.

Consider hiring a heating expert to check and clean your fireplace.

While you’re at it, go ahead and stockpile some winter firewood. And along those lines, consider bringing in a professional to check your heating system.

“But if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, then be sure to change the filter, make sure that you’re not storing stuff around your furnace, and be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for maintenance tips,” said Curt Chappell of Curt’s Dependable Heat and Care.

Get into the gutters

Get your mind and hands in the gutters to rid them of leaves, nests and other outdoor debris.

“There are so many reasons to clean your gutters that I don’t even know where to start,” said Ricky Young, owner of Royal Gutters in Gainesville. “If you don’t keep them clear, clean and flowing, they will run over and cause damage. It can even cause foundation damage.”

And don’t hesitate to call in a pro.

“You wouldn’t believe the horror stories we hear about the guy who was going to clean the gutters himself,” Young said. “With professionals, it’s done safely, because we use ladders every day.”

Inspect that roof

The last thing you want in the winter is a leak here or a leak there.

“Leaves are the big roof concern this time of year,” said Daniel Carver, owner of Daniel Carver Roofing in Flowery Branch. “if they pile up on the roof, they tend to dam up, and that can cause leaks.”

He suggests clearing roofs of leaves, since it allows homeowners to check on the status of their shingles.

“Look at the bottom of the edge of the shings,” he said. “If they’re going bad or deteriorating, the edges will begin to curl.”

Check the detectors

Give some attention to the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

“We recommend that you check those monthly,” Payne said. “But we also recommend that you change the batteries every time (Daylights Savings Time) change.”

The city’s Safe Kids program, operated through the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, will come to your house and install a smoke detector free of charge.

Plant the pretties

Now is the time to plant pansies and violas for winter and spring color, said Chip Morris, owner of Landscape Management Company in Gainesville, while spring-blooming tulips and daffodils will be planted a little later.

He also recommends the season for planting trees and shrubs.

“Even though we generally get less rain through the fall, the soil temperature is cooler, and it stays moist longer,” he said. “The fall and winter give plants (time) to develop a root system before next summer.”

Consider your grass

It’s the perfect time of year to do some weed control work for warm season grasses, said Josh Everett of New Leaf Landscape Services.

“If you don’t want all of the weeds in the spring, then it’s critical that you do your fall pre-emergent application right now,” he said.

He also suggested aerating and overseeding cool season grasses.

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