Fall is the perfect time to tackle almost any home improvement project: you are well-rested after your summer holiday, the weather is pleasant and, with the summer heat waves over, you can finally get organized. More importantly, there are some home improvement projects that should be done during fall.
Read on to find the must-do list that any homeowner must check off before the winter chill sets in.
Get your mind in the gutter
Cleaning your gutters may not be the most pleasant thing to do, but it is a necessity. Gutters divert hundreds of gallons of water away from your home. With the increased volume of leaves coming down in fall, gutters are at real risk of clogging, and this can lead to water damage to your roof and exterior of your home in addition to flooding your basement.
So, the first home improvement project to tackle this fall should be cleaning your gutters and installing gutter guards to protect them from additional debris, ensuring there will be less work to do next year.
Want some tips on gutter maintenance? Start here.
Inspect your roof
Make sure your home stays warm and dry during winter with a solid roof. Stay ahead of any roof trouble and inspect it thoroughly or, better yet, hire a professional to do it. Check that your roof has not sprung any leaks during the past year, and replace any shingles that are cracked, missing or curling. Regular inspections and maintenance of your roof will help prolong its life. If your roof does need major repairs or replacements, consider gathering multiple estimates from reputable contractors.
Give your windows a thorough check-up
Heat leakage from windows can have a severe impact on your energy bills during the cooler seasons. It is no wonder that savvy home owners always make it a point to check on their windows during fall, before the cold weather kicks in.
A quick windows check-up always contains:
-Making sure the locks are functioning properly
-Inspecting the weather stripping – start with the sides of your window sash and check if the stripping is intact in the place where the frame meets the sash. Next, tilt the sash and check the weather stripping on its inside. If they are both intact, you’re good to go!
-Checking the sealant or caulk to make sure it doesn’t need to be touched up
-Learn how to air-seal your home here
Prepare your deck and patio for winter
Clean your patio furniture thoroughly before putting it away for the winter. Empty the dirt in any decorative clay or ceramic pots – otherwise it can freeze and crack the pots. More importantly, check for any cracks or dents in your deck or patio. If there are any, you should fix them as a matter of priority. Any small problem you have now will grow bigger during the cold season, especially if water gets into the cracks and freezes.
Inspect your heating system and chimneys
Whatever heating system you are using, now is the perfect time to get it checked. Take the opportunity to also inspect any smoke and fire detectors, carbon monoxide detectors.
If you plan to use your fireplace, the chimney must be inspected by a professional. You should also ensure it is clean and in perfect working condition. Improperly functioning heating systems and clogged chimneys are some of the most common fire hazards in US homes during winter.
Add a fresh coat of paint
The weather is still warm without being oppressive, so now is the perfect time to redo the outside (and maybe even the inside) of your home with a fresh coat of paint. With the milder fall temperatures, you will be able to keep your windows open to get rid of the fumes quickly.