The fall weather is finally here in the DC area with temps in the 50s and the wind lightly blowing! Hoping the trees will turn beautiful colors, but our weather has been unusual this year so time will tell. This means it is time to start your autumn maintenance to keep your home in shape and to keep you warm this winter.
Where to start? The exterior is a great place to start since it is your first line of defense. Clean your gutters and downspouts and make sure all drainage areas are cleared of leaves and debris. Don’t forget if you have a walk-up basement to remove leaves and debris from the drain area at the bottom of the stairs. Consider installing gutter guards and check the drain by the outside stairs frequently if you have walk-up stairs.
Do your shutters, trim or front door need painting? What about your mailbox and post? Now is a great time with lower humidity and cooler temperatures. Don’t forget to check the trim in case it needs to be replaced.
Have you had your roof inspected recently for wear and tear, damaged shingles or possible leaks? With the amount of rain and wind we have had over the past several months it might be a good idea to have it checked before we get potential heavy snow and ice. If you have a wood burning fireplace, have them check around your chimney too.
Don’t forget to protect your exterior hose bibs from bursting by winterizing or you will wind up with an unexpected large repair bill. Here is a video to show you how to complete this task. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aMXvKRaO7g
Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them if needed.
Don’t forget to clean up your flower beds and treat your lawn. Fall is a perfect time for moving perennials, removing dead annuals, raking up leaves, and adding fresh mulch. Plus trimming back your bushes and trees will make your yard ready for winter! It is the perfect time to aerate and seed your lawn. These two steps prepare your lawn for winter and gives your lawn ahead start in the spring.
When was the last time your HVAC system had a check-up? Have your unit inspected and change your filters. Don’t forget to have your gas fireplaces checked while you are at it.
Taking the time to prepare your home for the winter will save you in the long run and help reduce your expenses in the long run.