Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before shorter days (and in many areas, ice and snow) make outdoor work too difficult. And if you do live in an area with cold winters, take some time this fall to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care. Below are five fall preventative home maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.
1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris (if you are not comfortable on a ladder, hire a helper). Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters. Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
2. Prune Trees and Shrubs
Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth. Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Consider hiring an arborist, they can spot signs of poor health early on to prevent tree loss, and know how to prune properly to avoid falling limbs in winter storms.
3. Lawn and Sprinklers
Leaves look beautiful blanketing the ground, but leaving too many leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth. Check your sprinkler system for any leaks and to ensure proper drainage. Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn!
4. Windows, Doors & Heating
Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and windows. Seal gaps where critters could enter. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely to keep the wildlife outdoors. Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems. Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
5. Stock up on winter supplies
When winter storms arrive and you get snowed in or lose power, there are always items that we wish we had available. Fall is the perfect time to stock up on these to keep readily available.
- Three day supply of non perishable food and water
- First-Aid Kit
- A full week of medications (as well as any additional health-related items, like contact lenses, syringes, or hearing aids with extra batteries)
- Pet food & supplies
- Tire Chains