9 Home Maintenance Tips for the Fall

by Team HomeServe Top Tips and Lists  
5 fall home maintenance to dos

Fall is the season of leaves descending to the ground, mulled cider, Halloween, plaid, hay rides - and, yes, pumpkin spice lattes. (I just love 'em.) It's also a season of transition, as we all come down from the brightness and heat of summer and prepare for the colder temperatures and various holiday celebrations of the coming winter months.

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In other words, fall is a particularly good time of the year for you to check up on various systems, appliances and structural features of your home and see which ones may need maintenance or repair. Take a look at the following DIY home maintenance tips to get started on your upkeep responsibilities:

1. Raking the leaves

Simple? Sure. Necessary? Absolutely. You can put this chore off for a little while if you find yourself really attached to the colors of fall foliage, but don't let the red, yellow, gold and orange leaves linger on your lawn for too long. Especially not if you live in any area prone to moderate or heavy snowfall during the winter. As Forbes points out, a bunch of leaves - which, by this point, will be dead - that stay pressed against the grass under the weight of snowdrifts keeps the lawn from growing back properly during spring.

2. Tree and shrubbery checkup

For similar reasons, it'll be well worth your time to give any trees, shrubbery and other plants on your property a good once-over before fall turns to winter. Trim any hedges that need some snipping and call in a professional to prune any overlong limbs on your property's trees.

3. Feeding the lawn

Obviously, your grass won't grow during the winter. But adding fertilizer during the fall is still wise. It will help ensure that as soon as spring comes around and the weather turns, the lawn will have all of the nutrients it needs to regrow to its full potential, according to House Beautiful.

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4. Driveway adjustments

Whether you have a fairly short driveway or one of those long, steep and winding blacktop labyrinths, it'll be quite dangerous for it to have any major cracks or potholes. Water and snow that saturates these marks can freeze and start to break down the driveway's material - and even if that doesn't happen, ice is a major hazard on any driveway with a moderate or major incline. Call a contractor to help fix any serious cracks.

5. Insulation additions

In an interview with BobVila.com, Lowe's spokesperson Katie Cody explains, "Heating and cooling amount to 47% of the energy costs in your home. Proper sealing and insulation can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs, or up to 10% on your total annual energy bill."

For windows and doors, a combination of weather stripping and caulk will usually make for a fine insulation method, helping you cut down on the effects of cold air that tries to make its way indoors in late fall and throughout all of winter. Older homes may end up needing something more comprehensive, though, like spray foam insulation.

6. Heating systems assessment

Taking stock of your home's entire HVAC system is certainly important, but with winter on the way, staying warm takes on extra-special importance. Whether you use natural gas, propane, oil or electric baseboards for your home heating, it's a good idea to call for a tune-up to give it a good look and ensure everything is working as it should while fall temperatures are still in the 60s and high 50s.

7. Interior plumbing once-over

How are your pipes performing? Right now, they're probably fine, but they're going to be susceptible to freezing. Insulate pipes - sooner rather than later - to reduce the chance of freezing.

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8. Miscellaneous exterior repairs

Any issues with or damages to your house's exterior - roof, siding, foundation, doors, windows and so on - are only going to get worse when old man winter really sets in. According to Forbes, scheduling repairs to address any such problems should happen well before the first frost occurs. Early to mid-November is a good deadline.

9. Preparing for the worst

Whether it’s fall, winter, spring or summer, ensuring you have contingencies in place for essential household maintenance is always a smart choice. Learn how home repair plans from HomeServe can help you the costs of covered repairs.

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