Warm summer days have finally come to an end in our state Illinois, and those pesky summer storms may have brought some unexpected damage to your property. As the weather grows colder, it’s essential to check your home for damage and make proper repairs before it gets too cold and ice and snow begins. This Fall exterior maintenance checklist will help ensure that your home and property are winter-ready!
Clean and inspect your gutters
It’s important to make sure your home’s gutters are clean and void of debris, so they can keep your roof and foundation safe from any water or moisture that could lead to leaks. You may have to regularly do this during the fall because the falling leaves tend to find their way inside your gutters.
Don’t worry, cleaning your gutters is an easy task most homeowners can do themselves. All you need is a ladder, proper safety equipment for your eyes and hands, and a gutter scooper. Use your own hands to gather leaves and other light debris, and use the gutter scooper for more heavy compacted trash.
If you find that your gutter has any splits or cracks or is starting to sag, it’s time to replace your gutter system.
Check driveways, walkways, and stairs for cracks
One small crack or split in your driveways pavement could make for a colossal disaster come winter. To ensure that you and your family are safe to walk when things ice over, inspect your driveways, walkways, and outside steps for fractures or holes now. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to call a professional for repair or replacement.
Inspect your attic
It’s important to check your attic to see if there are any obvious leaks from the rooftop as well as proper insulation. If your attic is not properly insulated before winter, you will see a rise in your energy bills and a decrease in the warmth in your home.
Trim overhanging branches
It’s a good idea to watch your trees throughout this fall to keep an eye out for any signs of overgrown branches near your roof or overall diseases. By trimming your low hanging branches, you are preventing possible debris from falling onto your roof, especially after a bad wind or snowstorm. If you own a beautiful cedar shake roof, it is especially important to trim branches to prevent water retention and fungi growth.
Buy your winter supplies
Now is a great time to stock up on those winter supplies. Make sure to grab a snow shovel, ice scrapers, and a bag of plant-safe ice melt. Restock any emergency kits for your home and car. If you have a snow blower, make sure it’s in good condition and purchase fuel.
Turn off exterior faucets and drain garden hoses
Turning off exterior faucets before winter comes will save you from having your pipes freeze over. It’s also important to drain your garden hoses of any water before storing them for winter. If not, the water inside may freeze and expand, causing your hose to burst.
Get a roof inspection
It may seem unimportant to have your roof inspected if no problems have presented themselves yet. However, putting off an inspection now can lead to costly repairs later. It’s necessary to make sure your roof is ready for all of the ice, snow, and rapidly dropping temperatures that will come in the winter. Eyeballing your roof may alert you to some visible exterior damage, but it’s safer to have a professional do a thorough inspection.