Pre-Winter Home Maintenance

A hand removing fall leaves and debris from gutters.

There are many things to enjoy during the first weeks of autumn- from cooler weather and the vibrant colors of fall leaves to the first light blanket of snow. However, the change in seasons is also a reminder that winter weather is around the corner, and it is time for some quick home maintenance chores. As you indulge in sweater weather, spiced drinks, and the pre-holiday season, take time to put a few home projects on your to-do list.

Clean gutters

Throughout the year, leaves, twigs, and debris build up in your gutters. Clogged gutters lead to a host of costly issues for your home such as leaks and molds. Autumn is the best time to take care of this critical home maintenance task after the leaves have dropped from the trees. Your gutters will be in perfect working order for heavy precipitation through the winter.

Paint exterior

A couple with a can of paint working on the exterior of their home.

If you’ve been avoiding big home improvement projects to avoid the summer heat, the temperate fall weather is the ideal time to check these items off your list. Fall temperatures are the best conditions for painting your home’s exterior. Plus, a fresh paint job on your front door can brighten up your home’s exterior and boost curb appeal.

Care for your perennials

Give your perennials extra care by pruning the branches and laying down fresh mulch. Pruning your perennials and removing excess foliage nurtures healthy growth.

Mulching is a landscaping project usually reserved for spring, but there are fantastic benefits to doing these tasks in the fall. Fresh mulch will also protect them from harsh winter weather conditions.

Inspect and repair roofing

Heavy winds and storms can loosen and tear away at aging shingles and expose your home to leaks and major water damage. Inspect your roof and assess any repairs, no matter how small. Look for missing, curled, or damaged shingles and exposure of the metal flashing. Replace damaged or missing shingles.  It’s easier to make small repairs before harsh weather moves in!

Upgrade insulation

A man caulking his windows to keep heat in- an important home maintenance task.

Home heating costs add up quickly, and you can increase your energy efficiency by draft-proofing your home. Check doors, windows, and chimneys for openings that can cause cold water and air to leak into your home. Caulk or re-caulk windows as needed and consider replacing single pane windows that don’t provide proper insulation. It’s easy to neglect the attic and crawl spaces, so inspect those areas for air leakage and deteriorated wood and caulking. Warm air rises, so if your attic isn’t well-insulated, you’ll lose a lot of heat.

Trim foliage

Wind can loosen dead branches, and snow and ice build-up on tree limbs, causing them to break and fall. This can cause costly damage to your home, fence, power lines, or other personal property. Take initiative and hire a tree service company to trim your trees. Not only does it prevent a disaster, but it keeps trees healthy and vibrant.

Inspect and upgrade your furnace

The last thing you want is your furnace to break down during a winter storm. You’ll save yourself a major headache by checking it now or hiring a professional to inspect it. Regular maintenance improves efficiency and reduces home heating costs. But more importantly, it will increase the longevity of your furnace and ensure that it’s operating under safe conditions.

Clean your fireplace

A man inspecting a fireplace before the winter season.

There’s nothing like cozying up to a fire on a cold winter day, but before you build that fire and strike the match, don’t forget to inspect it first. A clogged chimney can increase the risk of fire and should be inspected and cleaned before you put it to use. Inspect your fireplace flue with a flashlight to see if the damper is working properly, and look for bird’s nests, foliage, and any other detritus. You should be able to see daylight at the top of the chimney. Finally, check for missing or broken bricks and mortar.

Winterize irrigation systems

Your irrigation systems can still freeze even if they are buried underground. Draining and removing water from your irrigation system will prevent it from bursting in cold temperatures. You can do this by shutting off valves to the outside faucets and opening them to drain the line. Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out. If you don’t have shut-off valves, install foam faucet covers to insulate them from cold air and frigid temperatures.

Your home is your sanctuary, and you will spend much more time nesting during the long winter season. Big or small, fall home improvements will allow you to make the most of it!

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