In the fall, the leaves change color, and the temperature becomes cooler. Soon enough, there will be less sunshine as the days will become shorter. Because of this, fall is an excellent time to do some home maintenance work. This is especially the case if you live in an area where winter means snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.
If you wait to conduct such maintenance, it can be more difficult to do, or it may even be too late. Weather can be unpredictable, and your home might need to be ready for winter sooner than you anticipate.
Refer to the following fall home maintenance checklist to help prepare for the winter.
Rake Up Foliage
One of the most stunning visuals that the fall season has to offer is colorful leaves. The red, orange, and yellow leaves provide a vibrant look that trees don’t have the rest of the year. Eventually, they make their way to the ground, piling up in yards, streets, walkways, and more.
Piles of leaves can be fun for kids to play and jump in, but it’s not always a good option to allow leaves to gather on the ground. Leaves can make for slippery surfaces and, if left during the winter, are known to hinder spring growth.
Knowing this, take the time to rake and pick up any leaves that are on your property. Try to rake leaves periodically throughout the season instead of letting them accumulate, giving you one big job to do. Be sure to also wear gloves to keep your hands protected.
Clean Out Gutters
With leaves falling, there’s a greater likelihood that your home’s gutters can become clogged, especially if you have trees close to your home. You’ll need to clean out the gutters and downspouts to prevent them from becoming clogged. If these items become clogged, then any water that enters cannot run through it and be directed away from your property. Instead, the water will pool up and run over the gutters, potentially damaging your siding or roof. This water could even damage your foundation if the water accumulates there as a result.
If you aren’t comfortable or confident in using a ladder, then you can hire someone to clean your gutters for you.
Conduct Tree Maintenance
If you have trees, then fall is an ideal time to conduct maintenance for them. You’ll especially want to trim tree branches if you have trees close to your home. You don’t want winter’s strong winds to break off tree limbs only for them to crash into your house.
It’s best to hire an arborist to care for your trees, as they will know how to properly prune your trees and how to diagnose their health.
Repair Your Home’s Exterior
Inspect your home’s exterior, keeping an eye out for any signs of damage and other issues. Pay close attention to the foundation, siding, and roof. If you notice any issues, such as gaps or cracks, have those addressed right away. You’ll want to make sure those problems are resolved before winter is here; otherwise, you may end up letting cold air and/or moisture into your home.
Turn Exterior Faucets Off
With severely cold temperatures, pipes are prone to freezing during the winter. When pipes freeze, they can burst open and cause water damage to your home. One thing you can do to help prevent such an occurrence is to turn off your exterior faucets before freezing temperatures arrive. You should also remove your garden hoses, drain them of any water, and store them inside.
Test Home Safety Devices
Test your home’s smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re still in working condition. If they no longer work or have expired, then replace them immediately. Change their batteries as well if necessary.
Weatherstrip Your Home
By adding weather-stripping to your home’s doors and windows, you can make your home more energy efficient. It will keep warm air inside of your home, so you won’t need to increase the temperature as much. As such, you’ll save some money on heating costs. You should also consider adding door sweeps if you have any drafty doors.
Have Your Heating System Inspected
Before the true cold hits, hire a professional to look at your home’s heating system. You will want to make sure that the furnace is working properly before you really need it. That way, it’ll be ready to use for the winter. If you wait until you need to heat your home, then you risk going without it because it needs repairs.
If you have a fireplace and chimney, have a professional inspect and clean those as well.
Buy Winter Supplies
Be proactive, and stock up on your winter supplies now so that you’re already prepared when snow hits. Buy ice melt and replace any snow shovels or ice scrapers that are damaged. If you have a snow blower, make sure it’s working properly.
Professional Water Damage Restoration Services
If you take the time to conduct fall home maintenance, then you put yourself and your home in a better position when the cold, harsh winter hits. If while doing home maintenance you find that your home’s current state has or may result in damage, then you need to act immediately.
Whether it’s because of damaged roofing, clogged gutters, cracked foundation, or something else, there are various ways water may damage your property. ServiceMaster DAK can help through the water damage restoration services we offer. Our IICRC-certified technicians will take care of the whole restoration process: inspection, water removal, drying, and repairs/restoration. With help from our water damage restoration services, you can trust that your home will be thoroughly restored, helping you in your preparation for winter.