August is a good time to begin planning for fall maintenance and take care of any jobs around the house that didn’t get done in July. These easy tasks can be done in the early morning and evening to avoid the mid-day heat.
Trim evergreens lightly to help them keep their shape. Remove any dead or dying branches that will show up on the lawn next spring after the snow melts. If the areas around the trunk are bare ground, consider raising the skirt of the tree by removing some of the lower branches. This will allow the grass to grow back.
Storm planning is a family activity. Everyone needs to know what they should do in an emergency such as a tornado, flood, or a storm event. Although unusual, these extreme weather events are not uncommon in the Blue Mountains area. Map the location of gas and water shut-offs on paper and post it in a convenient spot. You might put a flashlight with the map, just in case. Does everyone know how to get out of the house if there is a fire? An annual fire drill is a good idea especially if there are children in the home.
Clean the bathroom fans to ensure good airflow past the exterior vents and through the blades. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker, then open the unit, and vacuum and/or wipe surfaces with a damp cloth. This is a good opportunity to replace a noisy fan with something quieter. Worn bearings make a vibrating noise which is annoying especially in a condo. It’s possible to buy replacement parts or a whole new unit, whichever you’re more comfortable with.
Inspect and test the garage doors to ensure trouble-free operation all winter. To keep kids and pets safe, check the auto-reverse function with a block of wood: if the door doesn’t bounce back on impact, then it needs to be fixed. Also check the light beam that should also activate the auto-reverse by waving your hand in front of it while the door is lowering. It should reverse immediately. Call in a professional from the Collingwood area to have the mechanism repaired if it’s not perfect.
Refresh garden mulch near the end of August to keep things looking good until the snow arrives. If you already have a couple of inches of mulch from spring, use a rake to mix it and revive the colour. Fresh garden beds will keep your home beautiful all year. Edge the garden beds with a half-moon edger to create crisp lines around beds and borders. Clean up weeds growing through concrete with a mild bleach solution sprayed at the base of unwanted plants.