Autumn Home Maintenance Chores – Exterior

Autumn Home Maintenance Chores – Exterior

November, 2017

The crisp weather of fall is upon us and football season is well under way. While the prospect of relaxing into a lazy Sunday schedule calls to many home owners weary from the routine of weekend lawn mowing, don’t sleep on essential home maintenance tasks that will see you through the winter.

1. Maintain your gutters. Remove all debris from your gutters so water can properly drain. This minimizes standing water and slows the freeze/thaw expansion process that occurs in cold weather. Clogged gutters can cause landscaping, lawn and shrubbery, walls, foundation, basement, crawl spaces and existing gutter system damage. Consider installing "gutter guards,” which will prevent debris from entering the gutter and direct the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.

2. Trim your trees and remove dead branches. Inclement weather can cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home, car, utility lines or someone walking on your property. Keep an eye out for large dead branches in trees; detached branches hanging in trees; cavities or rotten wood along trunks or major branches; mushrooms at the base of trees; cracks or splits in trunks; leaves that prematurely develop unusual color or size; and trees that were previously topped or heavily pruned. If you see any signs of hazards, call a professional tree service.

3. Maintain your steps and handrails. Repair broken stairs and banisters to prevent falls and injury.

4. Inspect your roof. Be proactive and prevent emergency and expensive repairs. Things to look for include damaged or loose shingles; gaps in the flashing where the roofing and siding meet vents and flues; and damaged mortar around the chimney (especially at the joints, caps and washes). If you see any signs of damage, call a professional to repair the damage.

5. Inspect your home’s exterior walls. Look for possible weather-related damage, like cracks and loose or crumbling mortar. Wood trim and siding can suffer from deteriorating paint or become loose. Windowsills may be cracked, split or decayed.

By setting aside a few weekend days now, you’ll save yourself from a lot of hassle later. Once your home passes your fall inspection, you and your family can relax and enjoy the coming holidays free from worry about potential home maintenance catastrophes.

Information courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders, www.NAHB.org.