7 Fall Home Maintenance Musts to Start Planning in August

Since summer is beginning to wind down, now is a good time to begin thinking of those fall projects that need to get done in preparation for winter. Plan now to complete these 10 must-do fall maintenance projects to give your home optimal protection throughout the coming winter. You don’t have to do them now, but take a moment to put these items on your calendar for September and October, so you don’t forget!

  • Check out the roof. Look for signs of damage to shingles, such as an accumulation of asphalt granules in the gutters and cracked or curling shingles. If you need a new roof, don’t wait for the winter storm season. Also, you may be eligible for a discount on your homeowners insurance if you have to replace your roof.
  • Fill in the cracks. Adding caulk around the exterior of windows and doors, and anywhere there are gaps or cracks, will help keep the heat in and moisture out. It’s a great energy saver, and keeps your home more comfortable and protected.
  • Seal up the driveway. Cracks in driveway that have appeared over the last year should be cleaned out, filled, and sealed before winter sets in. If left alone, the cracks will only get worse with winter freeze-thaw cycles. You won’t get potholes, but you could have a bigger problem and trip hazard.
  • Winterize your porch and deck. Outdoor furniture won’t last long if left to the elements. Remove and store cushions and patio umbrellas, then cover with a weatherproof covering. And don’t forget to cover your grill! If your deck needs cleaning and sealing, now is the time.
  • Clean and store the lawn mower. When you finish with the fall growing season, be sure to safely drain all fuel before storing mowers and other equipment. Gas left in your lawn mower all winter can break down and cause internal damage, so be sure to use up or If you don’t want to waste the gas, you can add some fuel stabilizer.
  • Prune trees. Inspect your trees and prune any branches that are within three feet of your house so they don’t scrape or fall on your roof. If you have young trees, wrap their trunks with wire guards to prevent animals from gnawing on them.
  • Disconnect garden hoses. Never leave a garden hose attached to an outdoor faucet once the weather starts getting cold. Any water left in a connected garden hose can freeze and back up into the faucet or the pipes, causing them to crack. No one wants frozen pipes!

With all these fall projects in mind, now is a good item to review your insurance policies and consider riders for items like water and sewer backups, or additional items you may have acquired, such as jewelry, new entertainment systems or other valuables.