Fall Home Maintenance List
Fall is an ideal time to get home repair projects out of the way before the days get darker, shorter, and stormier. Winter in the Pacific Northwest brings icy rainstorms that can last for days on end, making outdoor work difficult. This fall, take advantage of crisp, sunny days by prepping your home and yard for winter storms. Here are 7 items to check off your home maintenance list this season!
Once all of the leaves have fallen from trees near/surrounding your house, clean out gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters during heavy rainstorms can cause water to pool, damaging your home's siding or roof.
Winterize Your Garden
Many people know to winterize their homes during fall, but if you have a garden, it's very important that you winterize it as well. This means pulling out any weeds, digging up bulbs that will not survive a freeze, and adding 3-4 inches of mulch to garden beds to protect them from heavy rainfall. Once the ground has started to freeze, add an additional layer of mulch to your garden to prevent freeze/thaw cycles in the soil.
Stock Up On Winter Supplies
Although snowstorms are not common in the Seattle area, they can happen. When they do, Seattleites do not know how to react! Why? Because they've never had to prepare for a storm before. It is common for grocery stores to completely run out of food during snowstorms, and icy roads make it impossible to drive elsewhere looking for food. Incase a snowstorm hits this winter, make sure you're prepared. Stock your pantry with canned goods and food that can sit on the shelf for a long period of time without expiring. Buy a snow shovel and an ice scraper, and pick up pet-safe ice melt for your sidewalks/driveway.
Care for Trees
The most important maintenance for a homeowner to do in the fall is trimming the dead out of any trees. Trees grow slower during the winter, so they are more likely to get a disease. If you notice any signs of rot in your trees such as brown needles, dead branches, or an early change in leaf color, you can hire an arborist to problem solve. These professionals can administer fungicide injections, can spot poor health early on in order to prevent tree loss, and know how to properly trim trees to avoid falling limbs in rough winter storms.
Shut Off Exterior Faucets
To protect your pipes from freezing temperatures, shut off the water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain any hoses you have and store them indoors or in a covered shed.
Seal Gaps Where Critters Could Enter
Rodents only need a tiny crack to be able to sneak into your house and make a home. Once these animals are in, it's extremely difficult to get them out, and it often requires professional help. To prevent any animals from intruding your home this winter, fill any small holes on your home's exterior, and cover any larger gaps securely with material that rodents will not be able to chew through.
Leaves look beautiful on the ground during the peak fall season, but leaving too many leaves on the ground for too long is not a good idea. After a certain amount of time, the leaves will begin to rot, turning into a dark mush covering your yard that is much harder to clean up than dry leaves. Rake leaves and use a handheld "leaf scoop" to bag leaves away. Want another idea for how to compost leaves? They can be used as mulch to winterize your garden!