The seasons are changing, and with those changes come new challenges for your home. Falling leaves, colder temps, and upcoming winter storms can pose major problems for your home if you’re not prepared. Starting your Fall home maintenance now will ensure that you and your home are ready for what’s to come.
Clean Out Gutters
If your gutters are clogged, it can lead to problems with water backing up that can’t drain properly. This can result in damage to your home’s exterior and even water in your basement. Keep your roof’s drainage system flowing by removing leaf litter and other debris that accumulates over time. Installing leaf guards on your gutters can also save time and money by preventing debri from making its way into your gutters at all.
Inspect Your Roof
While you’re taking care of your gutters, you can check your roof for any signs of damage. Look for missing, curled, or damaged shingles, or any other noticeable damage. Check the flashing around vents and/or chimneys for damage or missing pieces. If you have roof mounted tv/satellite equipment, make sure that it is also in good condition and there are no loose mounts or wires. If you’re not comfortable with heights, or don’t feel that you’re qualified to inspect your rood, check with local companies to find a professional. The cost of an inspection is well worth it to identify problems before they become major (and more expensive) issues.
Prep Your Lawn and Gardens
Fall offers the last of the nice weather we’ll see for a while, so use those days to prep your lawn and gardens for winter. Aerating, fertilizing, and winterizing are all great fall projects. If you’re in Dane County, check out the page on leaves and yard care to benefit our lakes from The Clean Lakes Alliance. Large amounts of leaf debris in our streets can result in high phosphorus levels in our lakes – which is bad for the lake ecosystem. Fall is also a great time to winterize your lawnmower and clean/store any yard tools you won’t need during the winter months. If you’re not familiar with the proper maintenance that your lawn or garden beds need to thrive through our cold winters, find a local lawn and landscape company to help you out. Many offer specific fall/winter services to homeowners.
Tackle Exterior Maintenance
Fall is a great time to address exterior projects before the colder weather sets in. Exterior painting projects can still be done during warmer Fall days, and the lower humidity can help too. Check your walkways and driveways for any cracks or heaving that should be repaired before the freezing temps of winter make them worse. You should also check any exterior caulk or weather proofing to make sure you’re not throwing money way on heating a drafty house with air leaks.
Prevent Frozen Faucets and Burst Pipes
Ideally, you’ll want to weatherize exterior faucets and pipes at risk of freezing before frigid temps arrive. A Burst pipe can be a disaster in your home and result in expensive repair bills. If you have shut off valves to your outdoor faucets, make sure they are turned off and the faucet is opened to drain any remaining water. Heat tape can be applied in case you need it for exterior pipes in extreme temps, and in ground irrigation systems can be winterized according to your system’s manufacturer instructions.
Schedule Your Furnace Checkup
Have your heating system maintenance performed before you actually need it. This will allow you to identify any potential issues before you need your furnace – nobody wants to be without heat during the winter months in Wisconsin. Scheduling this service in early Fall can help you “beat the rush” once the temps start to drop. Make sure you have fresh furnace filters on hand for the months ahead too.