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Fall Maintenance To Do Now
Fall can be a glorious season, with the blazing leaves, crisp nights and pumpkin patches. But in much of the country, it also is your last chance to take care of some home maintenance before the snow flies. Home improvement expert Bob Vila lists some fall chores that can save you money in the long run.
Check your exterior paint. Summer sun and winter cold are hard on paint. Check your house and any other buildings for peeling paint, which is an indication that the wood might no longer be protected from the elements. If you need to, repaint.
Clean your gutters. After the leaves are down, clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams, which in turn can ruin your roof and cause leaks inside your house. If you can’t clean your gutters safely on your own, hire someone.
Check your roof. While you are cleaning the gutters, inspect your roof – or have the person you hired to clean the gutters inspect it. Look for missing or damaged shingles, and make sure that your roof is ready for winter.
Check caulking around windows and doors. If cold air gets into your house, it causes your heat bill to go up – sometimes way up. Failing caulking also can let water into your home, causing damage including mold. So check the caulking around your windows and doors, and replace any that has started to crumble.
Repair your driveway. If you have an asphalt driveway, check it for cracks. Then seal it with a driveway sealer so it is ready for the snow and ice and salt.
Reverse your ceiling fans. In the summer, you want your ceiling fan to produce a cooling breeze. But in the winter, your fan also can help to distribute the heat you are paying for. Many fans have a summer and winter setting; if yours does not, set your fan so that the blades turn clockwise. Then turn the speed down to low.
Cover your air conditioner. This protects it from ice and snow. If you have window units, remove and store them.
Ready your yard tools. Winterize your lawnmower and store tools such as rakes and leaf blowers. Put your snow blower, snow shovel and salt where you can get them when you need them.
Winterize your deck. Clean and then cover or remove and store your deck furniture, grill, planters, etc. Check your deck and make any structural repairs or repairs to the finish.