Fall is a great time to get caught up

Fall is not just a time ­­to get out and pick apples and enjoy pumpkin spice everything.  It is a time to catch up on the things around the house you have put off while enjoying your summer. The cooler weather makes doing things around the house much more enjoyable. 

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Freshen up exterior paint

A freshly painted exterior helps with first impressions and prevents major repairs and expenses later on.   Walk around the house and check for any peeling, flaking paint.  Be sure to take a look at areas like soffits and upper trim.  Fall is usually the perfect time for this activity; just pick your timing wisely.  In order for the paint to adhere properly you will want to do the work on days when afternoon temps are above 50 degrees and when night time temps are above 40.  If the front door is looking drab and could use a sprucing up this is definitely worth your time and effort.  If you can get away with it, a red or blue door are your best options.

Clean up the deck

Take a look and replace any boards that are splintering or warped.  Once you have made the necessary repairs you should pressure wash the entire deck if it’s showing age.  If you are going to stain it wait until spring for the new boards to weatherize.

Repair or replace your roof

If your roof is more than 10 years old it is a good idea to have a local roofing company come out and evaluate the condition.  They will check the shingles and the caulk/seal along the flashing.   A new roof can be basic or with details that enhance curb appeal, but its main value comes from avoiding leaks and therefore other repairs inside and instilling confidence in a prospective buyer.

Power-wash the exterior

If your house has areas where it is shaded and has developed a green tint from moss or is showing dirt a good cleaning will do wonders.  If it is extensive you may want to hire a professional.  If you decide to DIY be cautious about water being forced under shingles or siding. Be careful if you are using any detergents.  They may be harmful to plantings around the house. 

Clean the gutters

When it comes to gutters an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Clean gutters not only keep water away from the soffits and fascia of the house but may also help with ice build up in the winter and help prevent ice dams.  In addition clean gutters also keep water away from the foundation and seeping into the basement.  

Repair stone walkways and patios

If you have stone or brick walkways now is the time to prep them for the winter.  Cracks in mortar or broken bricks/stones can allow water to get under the stone and heave from freezing and thawing during the cold winter months.  Seal any cracks and replace any broken bricks.  


Service and/or update your HVAC

This is the time of year to switch your systems from summer to winter.  If you have a humidifier make sure it is clean and switched to winter.  Clean and check your air conditioning unit.  Make sure you have clean filters for the furnace.  If you have radiator heat check it and make sure there are no leaks.

Check weather stripping and insulation

Check on weatherstripping around your doors, windows, and garage door. The felt strips seal these openings to prevent drafts, but they can wear down over time. Replace any faded weatherstripping and complete any other insulation tasks you’ve been putting off.  If you are thinking about adding more insulation in the attic fall is the perfect time, not too hot and not too cold.

Check the fireplace

For wood fireplaces, clean them out thoroughly, check the chimney, and make sure that you have an ample supply of wood. Gas fireplaces can also benefit from an annual inspection and cleaning before winter begins.

Switch Your Ceiling Fan Direction

Ceiling fans should turn clockwise in the colder months, which pushes warm air back down into the room. Most fans have a simple switch or button on the remote that reverses the direction.

Clean Carpets

Fall is an excellent time to clean your carpet. They tend to be at their dirtiest after summer activities, and you want them clean for indoor winter activities. Be sure to open your windows and air out your house as the carpet dries.

Marilyn Emery