The changing of the seasons is the perfect time to conduct home maintenance chores. Your home needs different things from one season to another. The weather and temperature have a big effect on your home, and it’s important to keep it protected as the elements change. The fall is a great time to do exterior maintenance just before it gets too cold come winter. Here are 7 home maintenance tips for fall.
1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
One of the best things about fall is the changing colours of the leaves, but when the leaves start to fall, they can end up clogging up your gutters and downspouts. During rainstorms, clogged gutters can cause water to pool, damaging your roof or siding. Once most of the leaves have fallen in your yard, make sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts, or get someone to help you if you’re not comfortable going up on a ladder! Don’t forget to drain and turn off your exterior hose taps. You don’t want those to freeze over the winter.
2. Now Is The Time To Paint
If you’ve been thinking about painting your home exterior, whether it’s a small job like your front door, or a major project such as your entire exterior siding, fall is the perfect time to do it. The temperatures are lower than in the summer, but it’s not too cold. It’s an ideal time of year for exterior painting (ask your local painter what is the lowest temperature you can paint – some suggest no colder than 10°C).
3. Assess Walkways, Stairs, Railings and Driveway
These areas can all be dangerous in the winter, so fall is the time to assess them before anything bad happens. Make sure your walkways and driveways aren’t cracked, stairs are in good shape and railings are sturdy. Just like painting, it’s ideal to do this before the weather gets too cold and snow starts to fall.
4. Trim Branches and Trees
One of the most important maintenance chores you can do in the fall is trimming dead tree branches and any other part of the tree that’s dead. Keep an eye out for signs that a tree is becoming diseased- pines looking thin, needles turning brown, and dead branches are all troublesome indications. You want to avoid falling tree limbs in winter storms, which can be dangerous to your family and neighbours.
5. Prune Your Plants
Fall is also a good time to prune your plants. The summer growth cycle is over at the end of fall and you want to keep limbs and branches at least three feet from your house so moisture doesn’t affect your roof or siding. This will also prevent damage to your exterior during high winds.
6. Seal Any Gaps
Mice and other critters only need a small gap to enter your home. When the temperature drops, they’re looking for warm places to sneak into, so make sure to fill small holes and cover large gaps with heavy duty hardware cloth or caulking little gaps. This will help keep wildlife outdoors, rather than in your pantry.
7. Conduct Safety Device Checks
Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace their batteries if needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace that if needed as well. You always want your home to be as safe as possible, but it’s especially important heading into winter when it can be hard to get out and replace these things in a storm.
Regular home maintenance checks are so important to ensure your home stays safe and secure all year round. Conduct these 7 checks this fall!