The hot days of summer are over and the cold days of winter are approaching. Before the weather gets too cold, take some time to take care of routine exterior maintenance. Fall is the perfect time to complete these tasks because the weather is still pleasant enough to be outside.
Tend to your landscape
Part of the joy of autumn is watching the leaves change color and fall to the ground. However, at some point, you’re going to want to rack those leaves up. If leaves are trapped under piles of snow throughout the winter, there is a chance that they’ll grow mold and suffocate your lawn, which will make it harder for your grass to regrow in the spring. Alternatively, you can also mow the leaves up and turn them into mulch for your flower beds.
While you’re taking care of the leaves, don’t forget to look for any dead shrubs or diseased trees. If you find any, remove them from your yard.
Seal any gaps
Rodents and other pests are going to start looking for ways to stay toasty during the winter months. Don’t let your home become their home. Mice can squeeze into the smallest of gaps, so take the time to walk around the exterior of your home and look for any gaps where they could enter your home. Fill small gaps with caulk and cover larger gaps with plywood.
Take care of exterior faucets
Shut off the water to any exterior faucets. Outdoor faucets are in danger of freezing over the winter, which could lead to a burst pipe. You’ll want to turn the water valve off, turn the faucet on to allow it to drain, and then turn the faucet off.
Don’t forget to disconnect any hoses, allow them to drain, and then roll them up for the winter. Store hoses in your basement or in your garage. Leaving them outside in freezing weather could lead to them cracking.
Look for damage
Walk around your property and check for any damage to your roof, your siding, foundation, and any outdoor pathways. You’ll want to repair any damage before the weather gets too cold. Once it starts to get snowy and icy, it gets significantly harder to make repairs. Damage to outdoor pathways can also be a safety hazard. For example, if the railings of your stairs are loose and the steps are icy, you potentially risk falling down the steps without a way to safely stop the fall.
Clean out your gutters and downspouts
Leaves don’t only pile up on your lawn, they pile up in your gutters and downspouts. Leaving leaves in your gutters and downspouts could lead to water pooling up, which could lead to damage to your roof or your siding.
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts is easy. Simply get a ladder, climb up onto it, and scoop the leaves into a trash bag or onto the ground. Work in small sections at a time and practice ladder safety. If you’re worried that your downspouts are clogged, considering using a plumbing snake to get rid of the blockage.
Get rid of A/C Window units
If you still have any window units installed, it is time to get rid of them! A/C Window units can lead to chilly drafts during the winter months. If you decide to leave the unit installed, use a cover to insulate the unit. While you’re tending to your window units, you might also want to consider investing in a window cleaning service to get rid of all the grime and dirt on the exterior of your windows.
Check your heating system
Eventually, you’re going to have to turn the heat on! But before you throw some logs in your fireplace or turn up the thermostat, you’re going to want to make sure everything is working properly. Considering having a professional come out to make sure your HVAC unit or furnace is in working order.
If you have a fireplace, make sure your chimney is free from any soot. Build-up of soot is a fire hazard. Use a metal bristle brush to clean your flue and vacuum out your firebox. There are also professional chimney sweepers that can help you with this process.
Winter is coming! Maintaining your exterior in the fall can help save you time and money. So take the time to rack the leaves, clean the gutters, and make sure nothing is damaged. Once the exterior of your home is ready, you’ll be ready to cozy up under blankets and enjoy the fireplace.