Luckily, we're here to make it a breeze with our handy checklist of home maintenance chores to tackle this month. Some of these are so quick and easy that you won't even miss a beat of that "Friday the 13th" marathon (although we'd recommend skipping "Jason X." He's in space—do we need to say more?) Read on for details about where to start.
1. Clean your dryer vents
"A key indicator of a dryer vent needing to be cleaned is if clothes aren’t drying as fast as they usually do, or if it takes multiple cycles to get them completely dry," says Maria Vizzi of Indoor Environmental Solutions.
Prevent buildup from the get-go by emptying your lint trap every single time you use your dryer. If possible, move your dryer closer to an exterior wall; if your vent pipe is particularly long or has to snake around corners, you're at a greater risk of a clog.
2. Seal your outdoor surfaces
Clean the surface first—taking care to remove any built-up ickiness between planks or in crevices—using a screwdriver or putty knife.
Wait at least 48 hours before sanding the surface using 80-grit sandpaper, then sweep or vacuum, and apply your sealant.
3. Store your yard furniture
Shortcut: If you don’t have the storage space, invest in durable covers for your furniture to protect it from snow and rain.
4. Stow that hose
Hoses with water in them will freeze and burst," says Lisa Turner, author of "House Keys: Tips and Tricks from a Female Home Inspector."
5. Do a 'fall cleaning'
Wash your draperies, dust your blinds, remove your window screens, and wash the windows inside and out.
Now is also a good time to have your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned to rid them of dust and other allergens (you should do this once a year).
6. Feed and seed your lawn
Plus, by seeding now—before the first frost of the season—you can allow seeds to begin taking root in the soil and get a jump on spring growth.
Choose a seed for your lawn that's right for your budget and your geographic region. You can complete a soil test, which will allow you to measure your soil's health and nutrients, using a DIY kit. You'll then have to prepare your lawn, lay the seeds by hand or using a spreader, and water.
7. Inspect your gutters and downspouts
If you're comfortable shimmying onto the roof, grab a ladder and have at it. Clear leaves, dirt, and pine needles from gutters, and examine downspouts for damage or loose pieces. Use a hose to flush out small bits of debris, and check the underside of the gutter to ensure no water leaks through. Inspect the downspout to verify that water is running freely through it and away from your home. Then inspect the flashing around your chimney and any openings in the roof (like skylights) for leaks.