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DIY Home Repairs for September

Fall is in the air! As kids head back to school and the weather cools down, here are some simple things you can do to keep your home in shape for the season:

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts. This should be done twice a year—in the spring, to clean out any leftover debris, and in the fall after leaves have begun to accumulate. This will prevent the gutters from filling with ice once the weather is colder. If you live in a one-story or two-story home, you can probably do this work yourself; if your house is taller, you should consider hiring a service to clean your gutters.
  • Prepare your lawn and garden for the winter.  Now is a good time to pull up and compost any dead plants and plant any bulbs you want to sprout next spring. autumn-201414_640
  • Take care of your seasonal tools. Get your snow blower tuned up before winter starts to avoid the long waits as other homeowners get their own appliances serviced. Tune up your lawnmower if you haven’t done so already this year, and don’t refill it all the way with gas if it runs out—you’ll need to store it with the gas tank empty this winter, or else add a stabilizer to prevent the gas from freezing.
  • Buy any seasonal tools and supplies you may need—both summer and winter ones. Summer tools such as lawn mowers may be on sale as the season winds to a close. Winter supplies such as snow shovels, snow blowers and salt for sidewalks may be in short supply as people begin buying them more frequently, so take stock of what you have and plan to buy any needed items before the weather gets cold.

Project of the Month: Winterize your Home


Many of Kalamazoo’s beautiful historic homes are over a century old. While these iconic buildings provide a sense of character in our neighborhoods, one downside is that many of them lack the sort of energy-saving features present in more modern homes. Even newer houses can lose a lot of heat during the winter. Fortunately, there are some simple energy-saving measures any homeowner can take to save on heating costs this winter.

As with other seasonal supplies, it’s best to buy weatherization items early before the weather gets cold and other homeowners rush to purchase them. A small upfront investment in window plastic, rope caulk, foam pads for electrical outlets, and other easy-to-install supplies can save money in heating costs this winter. More labor-intensive tasks, such as installing insulation in walls and attic floors, can be more expensive initially, but will continue saving you money for years to come.