As the weather starts to change and the fall weather comes in, it is a great time to tackle home repair projects. It is best to get these things done before the days start to get shorter and the cold weather and storms make it impossible to get anything done outside. Here are a few things to consider doing for DIY home maintenance for autumn.
If you have trees and bushes on your property, this is a great time to trim away dead branches and to trim the hedges. If you are not comfortable with trimming the trees or do not know what to look for, hire a professional, however, oftentimes, these are tasks that you can do yourself. With a little investment in the right tools, this should be an easy task. Caring about this now can help to prevent branches from breaking and falling during winter storms.
Rake Leaves and Clean Yard
When the leaves start to fall, it looks pretty until there are too many leaves. Raking the yard to remove the dead leaves can not only make it look nice, but it can also make your lawn healthier. When there are too many leaves on the ground, followed by the cold of winter and possibly snow, the ground can’t get ready for spring and it can take longer to come back to life.
Clean the Gutters
Just like you need to clean the leaves from the yard, you need to clean the gutters and downspouts. This is important because the leaves can clog the gutters and leave the rainwater or snowmelt to pool on the roof and siding. This can cause damage to your roof.
As the weather gets cooler, little critters, like mice and squirrels, will look for a warm place to nest. These critters can get into very small spaces. Once inside, they will find your pantry and leave a mess and destruction behind. Be sure to seal any small holes and cracks that can let these animals in. If the spaces are larger, consider using a heavy-duty cloth, available at hardware stores, that are designed for keeping animals out.
Look around the house to check for signs of damage to the roof, foundations, and siding. While you might not be able to make the repairs yourself, you can see if repairs are needed. This can save money and be a DIY because otherwise, you would pay someone to do the inspection for you.
Sidewalks, Steps, Driveways, and Railings
After checking the exterior of the house, you will want to check the walkways and sidewalks, porches and railings as well as the driveway. Look for issues that might make these areas unsafe when the cold, slippery weather comes. Checking and repairing now can lead to fewer injuries and less expense later on.
Shut Down Outside Water Access
You will want to protect your outside pipes from freezing by shutting off water access. After shutting off the water to the outside faucets, then drain hoses and store them inside.
Look around doors and windows for gaps that will let the cold air in and the heat out. Weatherstripping is easy to replace and can make a major difference in the comfort in your home as well as on your heating bill. If the gap around the bottom of the door is too much to fill and replacing is not an option right now, buy a door sweep to block the air.
Clean Dryer Vents
One of the biggest causes of fires in the home is from a dirty dryer vent. It is important to maintain them. A good way to remember to thoroughly clean the dryer vent is to do it at the beginning of fall and again at the beginning of spring. It will help your dryer work more efficiently as well as help protect you from fires.
This is the time of year, at least twice a year in fall and spring, to check the batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide. Check the fire extinguisher expiration date to see if it needs to be refilled or replaced. Check your home to make sure there is not a high level of radon.
Start these few DIY maintenance tasks now to have a safe enjoyable home all autumn long.