Traditional schools start next week. Meaning, it’s almost that time of year when temperatures start to cool, leaves change, plants die back, and the air is filled with pumpkin spice (okay, so that might just be the air around me…Mmmmm, Pumpkin Spice Lattes). It also means it’s time to do some fall maintenance on your home to prepare for the coming winter. To help you remember everything that needs to be covered, here is a Fall Home Maintenance Checklist:
- Caulk/Seal/Weather-strip All Openings. Before the cold weather comes, you want to look over your foundation, masonry, windows, door frames, and all entry points for cables and pipes. Make sure there are no cracks or openings in these areas. If there are, caulk, seal, or weather-strip them to prevent water and cold air from entering. Water that gets inside a home can potentially freeze, expand, and create worse damage. Mildew can also form. These repairs are inexpensive, will save you money on your heating bill, and prevent later, more costly repair bills.
- Paint Exterior Wood. Inspect your siding, trim, posts, etc. Do you see peeling paint? If so, it’s important you give the area a fresh coat of paint before winter arrives. Peeling paint is a sign the wood is no longer protected. The more extreme winter weather could wreak havoc on the wood underneath making it deteriorate to the point you need to replace it, which will cost more than a can of paint.
- Check for Loose or Missing Shingles. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of a storm and discovering you’ve sprung a leak. The roof is your main cover. Issues with it can, at a minimum, raise your heating bill – at a maximum, lead to major water damage that reaches beyond the roof. Be proactive and discover issues before you find yourself with a major problem. Check for loose or missing shingles, and call a licensed roofer if you do.
- Clean Your Gutters. Clogged gutters prevent proper water run-off from the roof, which could lead to water collecting and wood rot forming. Depending on the foliage around your house, you may need to clean them out at the beginning of Fall and after the leaves have finished falling. While you’re doing it, keep an eye out for roof granules, which can signal your shingles are reaching the end of their lifespan.
- Clean Your Chimney. If you have a fireplace, you’ll be using it a more often during the cold months. Now is the time to clean out all the extra soot and debris that can lead to chimney fires. It’s also a good time to check for a tight seal on the fireplace insert’s door gasket.
- Prepare Your Yard. What you do to your yard depends on where you live, but can include…Seeding your lawn, planting spring flowering bulbs, mulching over plants sensitive to the cold, draining and storing your hose, storing lawn ornaments, emptying dirt out of pots (the dirt can expand in the cold and crack them), inspecting outdoor furniture for needed repairs, cleaning and storing your grill, and filling bird feeders.
If you are in need of a handy man or contractor to help you with any of the tasks listed in our Fall Home Maintenance Checklist, please know we would be more than happy to refer you to someone. Give us a call at 910.202.2546 or visit our Contact Page. If you have any suggestions for the Fall Home Maintenance Checklist, we welcome you to leave them in the comments below.