Can you believe fall is just two weeks away? With summer in the rearview, it’s time to give your home a maintenance checkup and prepare it for the cooler months. Whether you live in an all-seasons region or a warmer climate, perform the following maintenance items to give your home the care it needs this fall.
Inspect and Repair Your Roof
Your roof endures a lot throughout the year, and regular maintenance is essential to prevent major damage and costly repairs. Experts recommend having your roof inspected twice a year, ideally during spring and fall. Look for loose, missing, curling, or blistering shingles, and replace any missing or broken shingles right away. Also, check for soft spots, which indicates rotting wood beneath the shingles. Reseal flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights with new caulk, or replace them if they are beginning to rust. If you have a tile roof, talk to a professional before climbing up on your roof as tiles are fragile and can break easily.
Seal Out Air Leaks
Cracks and gaps around your home’s exterior allow air to seep in and out, resulting in wasted energy costs and consumption. This also allows moisture to enter your home, which can cause mold, mildew, and wood rot. Prevent potential air leaks by applying weather-stripping around windows and door frames, and caulk any openings where plumbing, wiring, air ducts, and AC units enter the house.
Repair Cracks in Driveways and Walkways
Allowing cracks in your driveway to grow not only opens you up to more damage and expensive repairs, but it also diminishes your curb appeal. During harsh winters, your driveway is susceptible to cracking caused by freeze/thaw cycles, which is why it’s especially important to fix cracks in driveways and walkways before the end of fall. Use a water-based acrylic filler to fill fractures in asphalt, and use a cement mixture or vinyl patching to repair cracks in concrete. If necessary, apply a sealer to prolong the life of your repairs and help reduce future damage.
Have Your Furnace Serviced
Furnace maintenance is an item that’s commonly overlooked by homeowners, but it shouldn’t be. Having your furnace checked by a professional (once a year, HVAC pros recommend) ensures it’s working properly and efficiently and also helps to control heating costs. Plus, a furnace checkup can identify deadly carbon monoxide leaks or potential fire hazards. In addition to getting your furnace serviced, don’t forget to replace air filters, which should be done at least every three months.
Tend Your Garden
Fall is just as important a time for gardening as spring and summer. A little bit of prep work in autumn can make things easier come springtime and provide you with a more beautiful, vivacious garden. Plant spring bulbs, such as tulips and irises, as well as cool season plants. Later in the season, remove weeds, dig up non-hardy bulbs, remove annuals, till the soil, and rake mulched leaves onto your flower beds to act as a fertilizer.
Ready Your Lawn
If you want a healthy, attractive lawn in the spring, aerating and fertilizing in the fall are a must. Aerating involves creating small holes in your soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the grass roots. You can rent an aerator or hire a lawn care service to take care of it; just be sure to use a plug aerator over a spike aerator, which actually removes plugs of grass instead of simply poking holes. Most importantly, be sure to fertilize your yard to allow your grass to absorb vital nutrients and promote root growth. Doing so will result in a healthier, greener lawn in the spring.