- Created on Friday, 18 November 2011 00:00
Whether you’re settled in your new home or you’re considering selling your home next year, it’s important to perform regular fall maintenance on your house to ensure that it maintains its value, and to avoid costly problems down the road. To get you started this year, here’s a quick checklist for homeowners:
Replace Outdoor Lights
As the days get shorter, you’re more likely to find yourself leaving or coming home in the dark. Take the time to replace the light bulbs in your outdoor light fixtures to ensure you and your visitors can see safe footing and to deter burglars.
Check Your Roof
If your roof is more than 10 years old, its time to check it regularly for peeled or missing shingles. Snowfall and spring run-off can quickly seep through a decrepit roof, and you’ll be faced with replacing both the roof and your ceiling if there’s a leak.
Lay in Snow-Busting Supplies
There’s nothing worse than a surprise snowfall when you don’t have the tools to deal with it. Make sure you have a bag of de-icing salt, and a good snow shovel or snow blower.
Once the temperature drops below freezing, you may not be able to safely or effectively clean your windows. Take the time now to clean your windows with a mild solution of dish detergent and water, then rinse with the garden hose to a sparkling shine. You’ll enjoy the view of your first snowfall that much more!
Rake Leaves… or Don’t!
Most people opt to rake the leaves on their lawns because they don’t like the untidy look in the fall. However, leaves are rich in nutrients that your lawn needs. Consider running your lawn mower over leaves in the late fall before the snow arrives to chop the leaves into small pieces and allow them to decompose over the winter as a free fertilizer.
Trim or Wrap Hedges
Large hedges can take a beating in the winter, when heavy snowfall can cause weak branches to break. Trim your hedges back 1 to 4 inches to maintain their shape and thin out weak or overgrown branches. If the hedge is less than 3 years old or is particularly delicate for your climate, consider wrapping the hedge loosely in burlap (purchased from your local garden center) to keep it protected in the winter.
Check and Clean Your Eaves
If you have any large overhanging trees on or around your property, your eaves troughs may collect falling leaves, which can block downspouts and retain snow and ice. This may lead to ice backing up under your shingles, and eventually allowing water into the house. Using a large ladder, check your gutters and clean of debris. Ensure downspouts point away from your house, and don’t leak water any closer than 2 feet from the foundation.