Home Improvement Tips
Check supports, stairs, and railings on decks and porches: Look for signs of wear, decay, and damage on deck and porch supports, stairs, and railings. Repair or replace any damage and decay.
Clean gutters: Gutters often get clogged with leaves, seeds, and other debris. This can lead to problems including overflow, mold, rot, pest infestations, and even flooding damage. It an also diminish the lifespan of your shingles and paint. While gutter cleaning is especially important in late fall, it is important year round to keep your drainage system working free of cloges and to avoid damage. You should also inspect your gutters for damage and sagging and repair any issues.
Inspect and repair roof: Your roof protects your home, but you may need to make updates to ensure it keeps protecting your home. With an exterior and interior inspection of your roof, you can find signs of defects and imperfections. These issues may let moisture, rot, even pests inside of your home and should be resolved immediately. An inspection will look for damaged or broken shingles, missing shingles, rust spots or cracked caulk on flashing, signs of decay, sagging, flashing damage, and more. Often, you can make repairs to your roof rather than completely replacing it, assuming your roof is not at the end of its expected lifespan.
Inspect and repair window gaps: Make sure that there are no gaps between your trim and exterior siding or any other area along your windows and doors. You may need to apply new caulk or remove and replace the caulk along these lines.
Inspect basement windows: In the late fall, be sure to take a look at basement windows before snow starts to fall. You’ll want to look for drafts, loose frames, and cracked panes that could allow cold air and moisture into your basement. Seal drafts with caulk and fix frames or cracked panes. You should also clean window wells of all debris including leaves, trash, and even animals.
Inspect siding: Cracked, mildewing, or rotting siding can spell big trouble for your home. Inspect your siding to catch these problems early. You should repair, paint, and even replace siding that is not in good shape.
Inspect the foundation: Your foundation may have cracks or deterioration that indicate a serious problem. Inspect your foundation for cracks and other signs of damage to identify foundation issues before they become a big problem. Call a professional for repairs if you identify issues with your foundation.
Paint the exterior: Keeping up with the paint on your home’s exterior will seal surfaces. This protects your home from moisture damage. You don’t necessarily have to paint every square inch, as a touch up may be all that’s needed. However, keep in mind that the color may not match up exactly. Keep an eye out for areas that frequently peel or lose paint, as this can be a sign of a more serious moisture issue.
Perform a chimney inspection: Make sure that your chimney is well maintained with an inspection. You’ll want to look at exterior walls for deterioration, check that the top is sealed around the flue, and that the rain cap is installed. Make sure that protective screens are in place. There may be water damage, cracks in the masonry, or even evidence of birds or animals. These issues will need to be resolved for fire safety, moisture protection, and keeping pests out of your home.
Pressure wash exterior walls: Whether you have siding, brick, stone, or stucco, you’ll need to periodically pressure wash exterior walls to remove mold, mildew, and dirt. Doing so helps to discourage rot and makes your home look more attractive. Using a pressure washer, you can easily clean exterior walls, but exercise caution, avoiding windows and doors, as you may accidentally spray water inside your home.
Repair broken or cracked walls: Inspect your exterior to identify cracked walls, broken siding, and gaps or cracks in siding panels, stucco, and brick or stone walls. Any of these imperfections should be patched up or completely replaced.
Replace rotten or cracked trim: Inspect trim around windows, doors, and along the roof and siding. Identify any areas of rot and replace them. This is important for making your house look good and also preventing water from infiltrating beyond trim pieces.