It’s that time of year again. Another school year begins and the weather is starting to change. With just a few short weeks until colder weather is here to stay, now is the time to batten down the hatches and make sure your home is sound and ready for the “storm.” It’s time for fall home maintenance.
This is a good habit to start for every year. The more regularly you maintain your home, the earlier you will catch problems and longer your home will last. Here are 12 maintenance tips for the exterior of your house.
Fall Exterior Home Maintenance Checklist
- Check your window seals and trim.
Using a screwdriver, probe the wood trim around your windows, doors, railing, and decks and any other place where wood is vulnerable to holes and rotting. If you find any holes, caulk them completely.
Cracks and holes in these locations are vulnerable to water and water may freeze once it’s in there, causing cracks to get bigger. Water also means mold and if you need to, now is the time to replace any damaged or rotting trim and take out screens in favor of storm windows and doors. Clean and repair screens and spray with a protective coat. Then, store them in a dry basement or area.
- Have your HVAC system checked by a professional.
You can clean and replace the filters in your furnace or heating system yourself and make your fireplace ready for winter by checking to make sure all the seals in the flue are in place.
However, hiring a pro to make sure your furnace and vent system is running efficiently and correctly can save you money in the long-run. Hire a professional chimney sweep to make sure your chimney is set for use. Install a cap on all your roof vents.
- Check your exterior for peeling paint.
Fall’s cooler temperatures and low humidity make it an ideal season to re-paint your home.
- Seal your driveway.
Go over every foot of your driveway to check for damage and get rid of debris. Repair any damage with driveway filler and then seal with a commercial sealer. Sealing your driveway can extend its life by protecting it through the toughest weather.
- Cover air conditioners.
This may seem simple, but covering your air conditioner may extend the life of your unit. First, vacuum out the interior parts of the air conditioner.
Next, cover with an approved short tarp or simple piece of plywood across the top. Make sure the covering is not air tight so moisture can evaporate if trapped inside. This will help prevent snow, ice, dirt, leaves, and other debris from getting in the condenser fan and the coils.
- Winterize your deck.
Even if you’re not ready to put away or cover your outdoor furniture just yet, cleaning and checking it for needed repairs will save time when that first frost hits and the nights are too cold to enjoy outdoors.
The same goes for grills. Pour out the soil in your empty pots to prevent it expanding and cracking the pot when it freezes. Check the flooring and lower parts of your deck for any repairs needed.
- Weather strip garage door.
Make sure the seal between the bottom of your garage door and ground is tight. Install a new one if necessary to keep out small animals.
- Pipe maintenance is important.
To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty.
Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes. Wrap water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. It will save energy and prevent them from freezing.
- Check your attic.
Look at your insulation to make sure it’s installed properly. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down toward the living space. If it is installed with the vapor barrier facing up the insulation will trap moisture causing possible water problems. You can cut slits to allow ventilation.
- Trim dead branches.
Make sure you take a look at all your trees and trim any hanging or scraping branches. Also, make sure your trees are sound and not dying, as a dying tree can be blown down in a storm, causing major damage to your roof and house.
- Inspect gutters and downspouts.
Have a professional out and inspect your gutters. Have them clean out accumulated debris and leaves and check to make sure it’s all installed correctly and still firmly attached.
Now is a good time to install gutter guards if you haven’t already. For more on gutters, please see: Warning Signs Your Home’s Gutters Need to be Replaced
- Have a professional roofing company inspect your roof.
A professional roofer will inspect for loose and shingles. You’d be surprised at what one season can do to a roof: ice, rain, sun, snow, and wind with rapidly changing temps can really beat up your roof.
Your roof is your home’s first defense, so make it a good one. If it doesn’t function properly you may be looking at water damage inside your home, which is harder to fix in the middle of a winter snowstorm.
Water damage in your home leaves virtually every system vulnerable to damage. It’s a headache you can prevent by having a yearly inspection and making small repairs. You may also like to read, How to Conduct a Basic Roof Inspection.
Maintaining your home’s exterior should be a top priority of every homeowner. From inspecting your gutters to inspecting your roof, these 12 fall home maintenance tips will help you keep problems at bay. If you need assistance, contact Renovations Roofing & Remodeling, Inc. We’re here whenever you need us.