Wednesday, September 14, 2022 / by Sydney Stahr
As the season begins to change, it's time to prep your home for falling leaves, cooler weather, and, eventually, winter storms. Tackling a few fall home maintenance tasks now can help ward off issues later in the season, so you can enjoy everything you love about autumn worry-free. Most of the tasks listed below are well within the average homeowner's ability. But even if you'd rather hire a professional to handle them, it can be well worth the expense. You'll save money in the long run by preventing costly (and potentially dangerous) damage to your home.
1) Inspect Your Roof: Start by inspecting your roof from top to bottom, using binoculars if necessary. Check ridge shingles for cracks and wind damage. Look for damage to metal flashing in valleys and around vents and chimneys. Scan the entire roof for missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Look in your gutters for large accumulations of granules, a sign that your roof is losing its coating, which can portend larger problems.
2) Care for Trees and Shrubs: If you have trees on your property, consider hiring an arborist to care for them — these pros 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) Clean Your Gutters: Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.
1) Inspect Your Furnace: Once a year, it's a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall before the heating season begins. They will also replace your air filters inside the furnace and in your home, so it's a good idea to have a replacement on hand for them.
2) Clean Dryer Vents: Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire — cool, dry fall weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has built up, so now is a key time to get that lint out.
3) Add Weatherstripping Where Needed: Sealing up air leaks around doors and windows will help make your home more energy efficient. Because weatherstripping can deteriorate over time, it is important to inspect it periodically. If you suspect a problem with your weatherstripping, try closing a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, your weatherstripping isn't properly sealing the opening. Alternatively, close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. (Don't let the flame get near anything flammable!) If the flame flickers at any spot along the frame, you have an air leak.
What hasn't been mentioned yet on these lists, but is incredibly important both inside and outside is to check all faucets and hoses for leakage and insulation. It is the perfect time to make sure all piping and hoses are drained and/or insulated properly so that when temperatures get below freezing you don't end up with a burst water pipe.
We hope this list helps get you in the mindset of preparing for fall.
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