Like spring, fall is a transitional season that takes us from the sweltering hot weather of summer into the cool, frosty months of winter. And just like in the spring, our homes require a little extra attention when autumn arrives. Here’s what should be on your home maintenance to-do list this fall:
- Get ready for the rain by cleaning those gutters. Fall is usually much wetter than the rest of the year, and preparing your home for increased rain levels – especially after the hot, dry months of summer – is important for keeping away mold and insect infestation. Ideally, clean your gutters a couple of times in the fall, including now before the rains really kick in and again once all the leaves have fallen. If your gutters are high, hire a professional. It’s worth the added expense to stay off high ladders and avoid nasty falls.
- Look for peeling paint. Even a small area of peeling paint can provide plenty of opportunity for moisture and even insects to enter your home and putting off painting chores can quickly lead to damage that will be much more costly to repair.
- Caulk windows. The hot sun of summer can cause caulk to shrink and crack. Remove old damaged caulk carefully then replace it with weatherproof caulk to prevent heat loss and also keep moisture and bugs from getting in.
- Seal your driveway. Rain combined with the contraction and expansion cycles of varying temperatures can cause cracks to widen. Now is the time to clean the cracks carefully and patch them using a special caulk made expressly for driveways. Then seal to protect the surface and prevent additional damage.
- Have your furnace services and your chimney cleaned. Keeping the chimney in good repair is important for wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, and it’s also important to ensure your furnace is venting properly. An annual maintenance of your heating system keeps your heating bills low while preventing unexpected breakdowns.
- Prune those plants. Home maintenance doesn’t just include the house. Fall is also the time to trim back overgrown plants, paying special attention to branches that overhang your home or other outdoor structures to avoid damage from fall winds and storms.
- Maintain your garden tools and stow them away for the winter. Oil wooden handles can carefully clean metal parts of rakes, shovels, spades and other implements so they’re ready for action when spring returns.
Autumn home maintenance doesn’t have to be a hassle. Start now and spread out tasks over the next few weeks so you can feel confident your home is well prepared for whatever winter may bring.