Fall is a great time of year to tackle home maintenance tasks because the days are cooler and comfortable. There are several projects for homeowners to complete that may prevent more significant and costly problems down the road. These fall home maintenance tips can usually be completed in one day or a weekend.

1. Clean the Gutters

Trees begin to drop their leaves, needles, and pinecones in the autumn months, filling the gutters with debris. When it rains, water becomes trapped in clogged gutters and can back up underneath shingles and roofing decks, causing serious damage.

This fall home maintenance chore is vital to the health of your home. If you are not comfortable getting on a ladder, hardware stores sell gutter-cleaning attachments for a garden hose or leaf blower that are long enough to reach the gutters from the ground.

The water pressure from the garden hose will wash away a lot of the debris. You’ll know they are clear when water is running freely out of the downspouts. If you do not feel comfortable performing any of these tasks, hire a professional to clean your gutters for you.

2. Fall Home Maintenance for Trees

While you are working on the gutters, inspect the trees around your house. The branches should not be touching the house or roof. Prune any branches that are growing close to the roof, or that are touching the roof or the siding. Remove any fallen leaves from walkways, stairs, and decks. Bag up the leaves or throw them in a compost pile.

3. Check the Siding

Check the exterior siding for holes or cracks. If there is minor damage, you may be able to repair it with caulking. Use a product that is specifically made for the type of siding you have. There are repair kits for vinyl and metal siding. If you have wood siding, choose a wood filler.

To fix the hole, clean and sand the damaged area. Fill it using a caulking gun or putty knife. Once the patch is dry, lightly buff it and then paint it to match the house. If you find that you have more extensive damage, hire a professional to fix it. This fall home maintenance helps preserve your home’s exterior and improve energy-efficiency.

4. Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping around doors and windows keeps the cold air out and the warm air in. If it becomes thin or peels off, the house will be drafty. Apply strips of specially manufactured sticky foam as a cost-effective and easy way to save energy.

To refresh the old stripping, remove it, and then lightly sand and wipe down the area. Next, firmly press the foam strips along the old path. When you close the doors and windows, they should fit snugly against the foam.

5. Fall Home Maintenance on the Heating and Air Conditioning Unit

Now is the time to winterize exterior air conditioning units. If necessary, drain any water out of the system and protect it from winter weather with a cover. Replace your heater’s air filter, and check each room to make sure all the vents are clear.

Turn off the power to the system, remove the cover, and clean the components with a vacuum attachment or duster. Finally, turn the thermostat on to test the unit before you need it for the season.

Complete these fall home maintenance tasks so that you are prepared for the upcoming colder months.

American Dream Home Inspections offers home inspection services in Northern New Jersey. Contact us to request an appointment.