It’s a good idea to start working on your home’s fall maintenance checklist as the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop along with the leaves. The best time to take advantage of the mild weather to fix any damage before the first frost sets in is during the fall, even though it is one of the busiest seasons for homeowners getting ready for winter. Here are seven maintenance tasks to prepare your home for fall.
Gutter and Roof Inspection
It would be best if you always began at the top, as with most tasks around the house. Get on a ladder to start your autumn home repair checklist—but only if you feel secure doing so; if not, find someone to do it for you! Using a ladder can be risky, so leaving these tasks to a handyman is sometimes preferable. You should also look up to see what’s going on above you. Failing to ensure that your roof and gutters are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at them over the winter could result in some costly issues later on. You should:
- Hire a roofing specialist to replace any missing or loose shingles
- Look for evidence of destruction around the roof and call in a professional if necessary
- Verify that your gutters are securely fastened, angled away from the roof, and slanted downward toward your downspouts
- Clear the gutters of any debris
- Ensure that each downspout is open and connected
Examine the Windows and Siding
While you’ve got your equipment out, examine the windows and siding surrounding your home’s upper floors. Make sure all seals are in excellent condition before temperatures drop. Paying to heat an inefficiently insulated home can cost you a lot of money. That’s why consultants from professionalmoverottawa.com provide their clients with a checklist of what they should inspect before their crews relocate them to a new home. Windows and siding are always on that list.
- Inspect your windows for cracks and reseal them using caulk made of silicone latex formulated for freezing temperatures.
- Search for and fix or replace any siding that is damaged or missing. If you uncover broken siding, you might want to bring in a professional to see what can be done to fix it because some siding, such as plastic, might be challenging to repair without removing other portions.
- Remove screens from doorways and windows and build storm doors. Screens should be cleaned, repaired, coated with a protective coating, and kept in a dry location in the garage or basement before being stored.
Inspect the Foundation
It’s time to look low now. The next on the list of maintenance tasks to prepare your home for fall is inspecting your foundation. Check for foundation cracks and siding gaps as you go around your house. Mice, for example, like to spend the winter indoors and can enter your home through even the tiniest cracks. You ought to:
- Fill up any openings and gaps in your base to keep water out.
- Find a local pest control specialist to come out and help block access points if you discover wider cracks in your foundation or siding that could enable insects, mice, and pigeons to survive winter in your home.
- Use caulk with a silicone latex base made to withstand the chilly, rainy months to fill in any cracks around your basement windows.
Set Up the Fireplace
Even if you seldom use your fireplace, you should inspect it yearly for risks and damage. Check for creosote, a combustible byproduct of burning wood, in the flue first. A destructive fire can start when a fireplace or chimney has too much buildup. Get a creosote accumulation inspection done on your chimney every year. If you burn wood frequently, you ought to have the chimney checked after each cord is burned. The best choice for most individuals is to have a chimney sweeper evaluate your complete chimney system. With a powerful flashlight pointed up the chimney, you may complete the check after you understand what to look for and search for any deposits close to 1/8 inch thick. A knowledgeable chimney cleaner should remove these deposits.
Examine your chimney for damage and obstructions in the flue as well. Ensure that the chimney’s top baffle or screen, known as the flue cap, is in place. A chimney cover may stop birds from building their nests on exposed flues.
Prepare Your Winter Clothing and Equipment
You must prepare for winter yard maintenance like shoveling if you are in a region that experiences frequent heavy snowfall. Before the first snowfall, ensure all snow gear is operational. Prepare your snow removal equipment. You should have shovels, roof rakes, and snow blowers accessible when snow falls. Be cautious about where you keep the equipment. A detached garage could have better insulation than an outbuilding.
You should consider renting a storage unit if you have a lot of stuff in your garage and struggle with space. Place items you don’t frequently use in there to make space for the winter equipment you will need almost daily. There are many ways to save money when renting storage and make it more affordable, so do some digging and talk to the service provider about the best options. Also, the unit will come in handy in spring when you can store all the bulky winter stuff and keep it safe until you need it again.
Fertilize Your Yard
Fertilize your lawn four times per year for the nicest lawn in town. However, if you must pick only one time to fertilize a year, make it fall. Your grass will still look fantastic. Pick a fertilizer with the designation 4-1-2. Those figures represent the fertilizer’s nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium percentages. Better yet, seek guidance from a garden center specialist regarding the ideal fertilizer mix for your particular variety of autumn grass and the soil in your area. Apply the fertilizer three weeks before the final mowing of the season. Fall fertilization gives the grassroots the energy and nutrition they need to grow during the cooler months just before the lawn goes dormant. The grass experiences an initial growth spike when it emerges from hibernation in the spring because the roots also store food for the winter.
Examine Safety Precautions
Review the safety elements of your house from top to bottom at least once per year. This would also be an excellent opportunity to review your family’s fire evacuation strategy:
- Replace the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors before vacuuming them with a soft brush attachment. You can test it by pushing the test button or holding a smoke source, such as a blown-out candle, close to the detector. Install a sand filter if you haven’t previously.
- Every bedroom, especially those in basements, should have two exits in case of fire. Verify that no furniture or other objects are in the way of the windows. For emergency exits, every bedroom on the upper floor should ideally have a rope ladder next to the window. Review emergency procedures and choose a location outside the house where everyone may gather safely.
After finishing your seven maintenance tasks to prepare your home for fall, make plans for the upcoming seasons. After completing your fall home upgrades, you may finally enjoy a hot apple cider by the (now clean) fireplace while feeling completely secure in your home