5 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Fall
Cooler temperatures have begun to creep in, and the first signs of fall are apparent. As the leaves turn orange and red, they remind us how beautiful change can be. Ideally, they also remind us that it’s time for another round of seasonal home maintenance tasks! In order to avoid damage and preventable emergencies later on, check on these five important aspects of your home’s exterior and interior as autumn descends.
Over time, and especially in the fall as the trees shed their leaves onto any and every surface below, gutters can become clogged with natural debris. Branches, bark, blowing trash, and leaves can all build up in a rain gutter or downspout. Every fall, it’s important to clear leaves from gutters in order to keep them functioning properly. This simple task shouldn’t take more than an hour and can have a huge impact on the way your home holds up.
Especially in areas that see heavy snowfall or rainfall, clearing gutters and downspouts can be the difference between a relaxing storm and a flooded home. When gutters are clogged, rain and melting snow have nowhere to go and can end up pooling and damaging the roof as well as a home’s interior and exterior. The effort of climbing the ladder to reach the gutters each fall is well worth avoiding the home maintenance emergency that can result from ignoring this task.
Whether you have raised garden beds where you grow vegetables, a simple row of tulips in your front yard, or sprawling garden space built into your landscaping, the beginning of fall marks a time to protect and preserve your gardens for the winter. Annuals can be removed and, in most cases, old stalks and plants can be added to your compost.
Without proper care, perennials can be damaged by frozen soil or prolonged snowpack. Take appropriate steps to preserve perennials so they can return healthy in the spring. Depending on the plant, this might involve cutting them back, adding mulch over them around their roots, or moving bucket planters into the garage for the winter. These steps can protect the most sensitive parts of the plants from freezing over.
Some homeowners welcome fall because chillier weather means less need to water and mow the lawn! However, before you kiss these chores goodbye for the winter, perform a few simple steps to keep your lawn thriving year after year. First, aerate your lawn. Autumn is the perfect time for this because the soil is not yet frozen, but the air temperature is still cool, so the lawn can sustain this damage.
Once you’ve aerated your lawn, add fertilizer and, if necessary, additional grass or clover seed. Aeration allows the nutrients and seeds to get deep into the soil and remedy any deficiencies or sparse spots your lawn may have been struggling with. These nutrients and seeds will continue to do their work throughout the winter, leaving you with a beautiful and lush lawn when spring rolls around.
One of the most common yet most frustrating home maintenance mistakes that can occur as temperatures drop? Pipes freezing and bursting. When sprinklers or spigots are left full of water as temperatures fall below freezing, water can freeze as well. Water expands when it freezes, which can cause pipes and sprinkler systems to break.
Often, a burst pipe can lead to flooding on the interior of a home and require cutting through drywall in order to replace the pipe. In the case of sprinkler systems, fixes can be equally difficult and may require specialists to dig in order to replace pipes and fittings. To avoid these freezes and bursts, homeowners should blow out sprinklers themselves using an air compressor, or hire professionals to do so.
As the moisture and cold wind of winter grows closer, homeowners can get ahead of weather changes by performing checks on the sealing throughout the home. Keeping moisture out of the walls and the interior of a home is crucial, as unchecked moisture even in small amounts can lead to issues like mold and mildew.
Conserve energy and avoid moisture issues by checking the weather stripping on doors, the sealing on all windows, and the caulking throughout the home. If cold air can get in cracks like these, it will, and will result in higher energy bills and a frustrating struggle against snowy and rainy days. Staying ahead of the weather can save you from endless headaches down the road.
Get Started Today!
Does your home need more than routine maintenance? For help with your next home renovation project, contact DeLeers Construction today.
Message or call our residential building experts at 920-347-5830 with any questions on preparing your home for fall.