The weather is getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. Before we know it, the crisp days will make way for much colder temperatures across the U.S. For many homeowners, it’s a time to stay indoors and put a hold on many of the routine home maintenance tasks we do in the spring and summer. Since the weather can put a damper on upcoming projects, most people use the fall season to get everything in place before the winter hits.
Want to get ahead and keep your home maintenance on track? Keep reading and we’ll share our best tips for fall home maintenance along with our fall home maintenance checklist.
1. Clean Your Gutters
First up: grab a ladder and head outside, because it’s time to inspect and clean your gutters. While this isn’t usually a fan favorite, it’s really important to do. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing up there, hire a pro!
In general, this should be a yearly task, and the autumn—particularly after the trees around your home have shed their leaves—is the perfect time to do it. It’s also important to note that you’ll need to do this task even if you have gutter guards or covers; while these usually reduce debris, they don’t completely eliminate it.
So, why is this so important? Once the fall and winter rain storms hit, you want your gutters to be clear so they can drain properly. If they’re filled with leaves and other debris, the rainwater can pool and overflow… and eventually damage your roof, siding, walls, and sometimes even your foundation.
You’ll also want to check that your gutters are pitched at the right angle to allow for draining. Most professionals recommend a slope of between 1/16 inch and ⅛ inch per foot, at an angle that directs the water toward the downspout. You can check the pitch by holding a level up to the gutter.
Bonus: while you’re up there, you (or the pro you’ve hired) should look for any roof damage. Check all of your shingles, flashing, and vents for anything that might need to be addressed before the first heavy snow or rainfall.
2. Check Downspouts & Outside Pipes
After dealing with the gutters, it’s a great time to check all of the connected downspouts, as well as all outdoor pipes. Downspouts should be clear of all debris and obstructions, and the water should be directed away from your walkways and driveways. If this isn’t happening correctly, you may need to add extensions.
For your exterior water pipes, you’ll want to check to make sure they are well-insulated so that they don’t end up freezing and bursting when the temperature drops. Shutting off all outside faucets is also a good idea, especially if you have an older home. Put away any water hoses that you won’t be using regularly, and check for leaks.
3. Perform a Full Outdoor Walk-Through
We’re not done outside quite yet! Next, do a full walk-through of your outdoor space. Examine all landscaping and trees around your home, checking for trees with decaying or dying limbs. If you notice anything concerning, it’s best to prune them back, especially if they’re close to your roof, windows, or neighborhood power lines. This will reduce the chances of falling limbs during winter storms.
Use this time to rake your leaves, bring in flower pots that you won’t use again until next Spring, and put away or cover any seasonal furniture.
Next, prepare your home for Fall by looking for safety concerns and trip hazards in your driveway, walkway, and steps (if applicable). Cracks will just get worse as water seeps in and freezes, so you’ll want to fill those in with caulk or concrete repair compound.
Bonus: Check out even more tips for fall property maintenance here.
4. Audit Your Energy Use & Seal Drafts
Does your home use energy efficiently? Now is the perfect time to do an “energy audit.” A professional can check your home’s energy usage and provide recommendations, but it’s also relatively easy to do on your own.
A big part of this is checking all your windows and doors for drafts. Not only does it help your home use energy more efficiently and stay warm during the winter, it keeps critters out that are looking for a place to hide.
If you notice any drafts or gaps, adding weatherstripping is a good solution. If your windows are particularly old, it may be time to replace them altogether. Here at Cover Glass, our windows are fitted with the best weatherproof elements for your home. Our frameless windows, for example, feature interlocking channels, sealed tracks, and track drains so your home is fully protected from inclement weather.
5. Think About Your Lighting
As the days get shorter and darker, you’ll appreciate any extra light you can bring to your home, both inside and out. Inside your home, cleaning your windows and dusting your blinds can make a world of difference. New lamps and lighting options can accentuate darker spaces, and outdoor lighting along walkways can reduce the chances of tripping or slipping. (Make sure to choose energy-efficient bulbs for your new lights, while you’re at it!)
If your budget allows, installing large frameless glass windows can totally transform your space, allowing tons of light in while giving your home a beautiful, modern look. Plus, you’ll be increasing your home’s value while you’re at it; upgrading your windows for efficiency alone increases your home's value by approximately $8,500.
Other Twice-Yearly Maintenance Items
While the five things listed above are the most common items for fall home maintenance, there are other things you might have on your list. Many homeowners remember their twice-yearly tasks by completing them around the time change—so once in the fall and again when we “spring forward.”
Tasks might include:
- Cleaning dryer vents and filters
- Checking fire extinguishers and testing smoke detectors
- Cleaning behind large appliances (refrigerator, washer/dryer, etc.)
- Dusting off light fixtures and high areas of the house
- Cleaning smaller appliances
- Rotating ceiling fans
- Scheduling an HVAC inspection
- Checking flashlight batteries
Get Ready for Fall with Cover Glass
Feeling ready for fall yet? Know what’s on your must-do home maintenance checklist? We hope you feel confident going into the autumn season. And if you’re ready to take it a step further with a beautiful remodel, we’re here for you! Contact us and one of our reps will be in touch to help you bring your dream to life.