The cooler temperatures of autumn make it a great time to tackle home projects and repairs. Spending a weekend or two doing some fall home maintenance will get your home ready for the shorter and colder days of winter.
Important Fall Home Maintenance Tasks
Clean the Gutters
After the leaves have fallen, you’ll need to clean out the guttering to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clogged gutters cause water to back up under the shingles and cause damage to your roof. This also allows water to flow over the sides instead of away from your foundation, which can lead to water seeping into your basement and damage to your landscape.
Fall Maintenance of Trees and Shrubs Around the Home
Fall is a good time to tackle tree care and maintenance. Trim off any dead branches and limbs and shape the tree so the leaves have plenty of access to sunlight. It’s also important to prune tree limbs that are overhanging your home and the driveway. In winter storms, branches can break, damaging your roof or blocking your driveway.
Have an arborist come in and examine your trees. An expert eye can catch problems early so you can treat them successfully without losing the tree.
Block Entryways for Pests
Critters will seek warmer spaces as the temperatures drop. Take a walk around your home and look for places where small animals can get inside. Plug gaps with caulk, insulation, or a metal barrier.
Fall Home Maintenance Repairs
Repairs you’ve put off during the hot summer months need to be completed before cold winter arrives. Examine your porch, deck, roof, siding, and foundation for any signs of damage. Get repairs made early in the milder days of fall.
If you leave repairs for the spring, moisture, pests, and the expanding and contracting that happens with temperature changes can worsen the damage. It’s better to make repairs now and prevent extensive repairs in the spring.
Check for Air Leaks
Heating your home can get expensive during the coldest months. Sealing cracks and gaps around windows and doors will help keep your heating costs down.
Check around every door and window in your home for leaks. Inspect around the molding where it meets the wall. If you find an air leak, use caulk or weatherstripping to seal the area.
Make Walkways and Stairs Safe
Walking on ice is tricky in the best of circumstances. Trying to navigate ice on a broken walkway or damaged stairs makes it even more dangerous. Before winter arrives, make sure walkways, stairs, railings, and driveways are in good repair. Test handrails and secure them if needed. Keep a supply of ice melt on hand to help clear the walkways of snow and ice.
Gather Cold Weather Supplies
When fall arrives, it’s time to find the snow shovels and ice scrapers that have been packed away since last winter. Make sure they are in good condition and ready for the first snowfall. Get your snowblower serviced and fueled up. Restock emergency kits in all of your vehicles.