5 Fall Must-Dos at Home

| October 23, 2012

clean out gutters This fall before you hunker down for winter, do your property and yourself a favor by performing these last-minute home maintenance tasks around your home. Completing the following five must-do chores will keep you safe and dry when the wind howls and the skies open up.

Roof and gutter check

Inspecting your roof before winter rain and snow sets in allows you to catch potential problems like leaks before your living room is flooded and the roofer’s schedule is overflowing. Check for loose roof tiles or shingles, and repair or replace them. Also inspect all of your downspouts, and clear away any debris so that the water flows from them unobstructed, rather than backing up on the roof. And make sure to direct the water coming from the gutters away from your home’s foundation.

When you check the roof, also look for any leaking siding and replace damaged areas.

Thin out the trees

Avoid broken limbs or uprooted trees during storms and potential damage to nearby structures by thinning your trees so that the wind filters through them. Known as lacing, the technique requires that you remove no more than one-quarter to one-third of the branching system. For aesthetic purposes and to preserve the health of the tree, try to create even spacing between branches throughout the tree.

Clean up the leaves

Cleaning up leaf litter before winter winds blow helps prevent the debris from building up against your house and compromising the foundation of your home. Certain pests and diseases also tend to overwinter in foliage, so removing leaves will help prevent reoccurrence in the spring.

Inspect outdoor paint

Winter weather is particularly hard on exposed wood and can lead to rotting. While this isn’t generally the time to take on repainting your whole home, you can do some touching up in areas where paint is chipping or cracking. If you don’t have extra paint, take a chip of paint from the house and have personnel at the store mix you a matching paint. If you will only be painting a small area, inquire if you can get the paint in a quart or half-gallon size.

Check the windows

Drafty windows create an uncomfortable situation and can cause significantly increased energy bills. Check the seal around your windows, and if it appears to be leaking, either caulk the windows or install weather stripping to keep the cold air at bay.

Perform these five fall must-dos around your home and garden, and you can snuggle up and enjoy anything that Mother Nature throws your way this winter.

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Category: Home & Garden, Maintenance & Upkeep

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.