Vibrantly colored leaves sweep through the streets as delighted homeowners across the region begin decorating their porches with carved pumpkins. The air is crisp and smells of freshly picked apples. It’s October in New England and so begins the festive traditions of late fall that many residents partake in every year. Houses wrapped in artificial spiders webs, large blow-up monsters donned on front lawns, and spooky ghosts stuck upon windows. Participating in these festive traditions just might be one of the most delightful parts of owning a home!
However, it is important to make home maintenance a part of your yearly tradition as well if you want to maintain the health of your home for the many Octobers to come. In our previous blog post, we discussed how to prepare the interior of your home for the fall season. In this post, we will be going over the most important exterior fall home maintenance tasks!
Complete the following 10 tasks and your home’s exterior will be ready to face the cold months that lie ahead!
Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
Clean your Gutters- Even if you Have Gutter Guards!
Check Gutter Leader Distribution
Check your Snowblower
Clean the Shed/Garage
Stock Up on Winter Essentials
Finishing Yard Touches
Lawn Mower Care
Winterize the Lawn & Sprinkler System
Check the Driveway
Check Storm Doors
Oftentimes, homeowners make the crucial mistake of failing to maintain their gutters because they believe their gutter guards will suffice. While screens and guards do help, it is important to check and clean out your gutters every few months to prevent buildup. Remove the covers, scoop out any debris, and then flush them with some water. Be sure to check the downspouts… If water still doesn’t flow, you may have a clog in the downspout.
Following the previous task, you will also want to check the gutter leader distribution. You will want to ensure that the leader sends the water out at least 6 feet from the foundation.
You’ll want to check your snowblower for a few different things before it is actually time to use it. You do not want to be stuck in the freezing snow trying to figure out why it is not working. Right now, while temperatures are still relatively high, you’ll want to check the snowblower gas line, and also make sure the oil is checked and cleaned. Make sure it runs properly, and if it needs a tune-up- get it done now before there is trouble starting it in the cold.
As seasons transition, you should make sure your shed and garage are prepared. Put away the garden supplies, the yard furniture, and lawn equipment. Take some time to organize the supplies and ensure that all items you will need for fall and winter easily accessible.
Make sure you have the following items at the ready: snow shovels, snow boots, sand, salt, or ice melt, and an ice-scraper. Even if you don’t end up using all of these this winter, it is better to be safe than sorry, and they could come in handy in the winters to come.
Now is the time for all of the final touches to your yard. Complete the final trimming of the bushes, the last lawn mow, and rake any remaining leaves from drains, alcoves, and the yard.
You will not be using your lawnmower for the remainder of fall or winter, so it is important to prepare it to withstand the upcoming cold months. Winterize your lawnmower and assure that you put stabilizer in it so it does not freeze.
To winterize your lawn, many lawn care experts recommend applying winterizing fertilizer in October or November. You can winterize your sprinkler system by either doing a blow-out, a manual drain, or an automatic. The method you chose will depend on your system.
When snow blowing or shoveling, the driveway must have a smooth surface. If there are holes in the driveway, water and ice will begin to build up. Before the snow comes, inspect the entire driveway, making note of any debris, holes, or broken areas. Any large holes should be fixed before winter.
Storm doors and sliders should be able to operate properly in the cold. They can block cold drafts and strong breezes and minimize heat energy loss by providing an extra barrier. Inspect the storm doors on the exterior of your house and look for signs that they may need repair. Common problems include damage to the hinges, door closers, door frame, and locks. If any of these areas are damaged on your storm doors, they need to be repaired before winter.
Once you have completed these 10 steps, the exterior of your home will be prepared for the coldest months that are right around the corner. After these crucial tasks are completed, you can be confident that your home will withstand another New England winter!