As the days grow shorter and the weather cooler, it’s time to turn your attention to fall maintenance for the outside of your home. Fall is all about prepping for winter and getting things ready for when spring finally arrives next year. September maintenance in particular can help you close out summer and get your to-do list finished early.
A well-maintained home holds its value, but ignoring regular upkeep could result in a 10 percent reduction in home value. Winter weather is harsh on the exterior of your home, so getting basic September maintenance done ensures your home is weather-ready.
Here is a checklist of exterior home maintenance to pay attention to when September arrives.
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1. Clean out Gutters
Clogged gutters can result in water or melting snow backing up, freezing and damaging your roof. Now is the time to start clearing those gutters of falling leaves and other debris. You’ll want to repeat this process when the last leaves have fallen.
Thoroughly inspect every inch of the gutters to make sure there are no obstructions that might result in issues down the road. Now is the time to start this process, rather than after freezing weather hits and climbing around on your roof becomes treacherous.
2. Add Solar Roof Vent Fan
If you don’t already have a roof vent fan, consider adding a solar one in September before colder weather hits. Now is the time to work on this project, because in the winter trapped heat will begin to melt snow on the roof. However, as it melts, the snow freezes and clogs gutters. Over time, the water backs up onto the roof and can create leaks as it makes its way beneath shingles.
The savings can be enormous, as you’ll prevent damage and extend the life of your roof. You’ll also avoid damage to interior ceilings and walls.
3. Fill in Driveway Cracks
Fall is a good time to seal your driveway, filling in any cracks. In the winter, water seeps down into concrete cracks, freezes and expands. This process creates larger cracks and can result in your concrete buckling and breaking apart. It’s much less expensive to pay attention to these cracks before winter hits and do some basic maintenance that will protect your investment through the harsher winter weather.
The job is time-intensive if you seal the entire driveway or sidewalks and patios, but the potential savings is the cost of having the concrete broken up and re-poured.
4. Organize Your Outdoor Tools
Take time to organize the outdoor tools you’ll need for cooler weather. Locate your rake, snow shovel and items such as sidewalk salt or snowblower. Organize these items so they are easy to get to when you need them. Getting the tools you need to work on the outside of your home together doesn’t take a lot of time, but will save time and frustration when you need to find these items on the fly.
5. Winterize Water Features
If you have water features in your garden, now it the time to prep for winter. Remove all water from fountains and birdbaths, then cover them or turn them over so melting snow or winter rains don’t collect in them, freeze and damage the decorative elements in your landscaping. For larger water features, such as ponds, maintenance may be a bit more intensive. If you have a koi pond, for example, decide between keeping the water at the right temperature through the winter or removing fish and bringing them indoors.
6. Remove Hoses and Drain Sprinklers
The hot days of summer are past, so there is little need to water your yard or flowers every day. This is the time to remove hoses and drain sprinklers, so they don’t freeze and burst during winter weather. You may also want to purchase a small insulated cover for outdoor spigots to protect them from damage from freezing temperatures further.
7. Prune Plants
Fall is one of the best times to pay attention to your landscaping. Trim trees and shrubs away from the house to prevent melting snow from dripping onto your home’s exterior and causing damage. It’s a good time to clean up your landscaping and remove any debris and diseased plants.
A Full September Maintenance Plan
September maintenance means giving your home a full once-over and looking for any potential problems winter weather will exacerbate. Take time to study your foundation for cracks. Step back and survey the roof for any missing or damaged shingles. Look at every inch of the exterior of your home and fix any small issues now, so they don’t become big issues later. Fall maintenance helps keep your home in tip-top shape all year long.