15 Fall Home Maintenance Tasks To Complete Right Now

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Note from the Editors: This article first appeared on Living on the Cheap.

With autumn in the air, you may be thinking about what needs to be done around the house before winter arrives.Many tasks are much easier to complete while the weather is still pleasant.

Furthermore, taking care of routine maintenance tasks now can save you time and money in the future.

If you don’t do these things and end up needing repairs, it can cost a lot more in the long run, according to Leah Ingram, an author and frugal living expert.

She recalls not having leaves removed from the roof of her New Jersey home one year, which would have cost about $300 if done by a professional crew.As a result of the ice dam, water leaks inside the house caused $3,000 in damage.

Many fall maintenance routines are designed to protect homeowners from water damage and safety hazards, particularly fires.According to Ingram, water is a homeowner’s worst enemy.People do not consider the potential for harm.

If you don’t follow basic safety precautions, the use of fireplaces, candles, and space heaters, which are all more common in the winter, can result in a fire.According to Anne Reagan, editor-in-chief of Porch, house fires are fairly common during the winter months.com, a website that provides homeowners with advice and connects them with contractors who perform home repairs and maintenance.

While some routine tasks, such as inspecting chimneys and repairing roofs, can be done by homeowners, others should be left to professionals.HomeAdvisor, a website that connects homeowners with contractors, publishes a True Cost Guide that shows how much different jobs cost.

As the cold weather approaches, it may become more difficult to schedule appointments, and you may be less inclined to work outside, making it critical to plan ahead and complete projects in the fall.

Fall is usually a very busy time for homeowners, according to Reagan.It’s the time of year when we start thinking about winter.When it’s cold and rainy outside, you don’t want to do the things that need to be done.

Even if you live somewhere where snow and ice are unlikely to fall, now is a good time to get your routine maintenance done.Water and falling branches can be just as costly in the tropics as they are in the snowbelt.

Here are a few fall home maintenance tasks to get started on right away.

Gutter and downspout cleaning

Worker inspecting the roof of a home

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When snow falls and then melts, or during rainstorms, leaves and debris accumulate in gutters, causing ice dams and other water damage.If you can safely climb a ladder, this is a simple task that you can complete on your own.

To rake or not to rake, that is the question.

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One of the most contentious aspects of home ownership is raking leaves.Experts say that chopping the leaves into smaller pieces while mowing can be beneficial to your lawn.However, if your lawn appears to be smothered, the leaves will not provide fertilizer.It actually aids the growth of fungus and mold, which can kill your lawn, according to Ingram.

Even if your trees aren’t green, you can stay green if you rake your leaves.Instead of throwing leaves out in bags on garbage day, use them as mulch.You’ll help the environment, save time weeding, and money on mulch.

Your roof should be repaired if it has been damaged.

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According to J, any shingle damage that needs to be repaired and replaced should be done.BMr. Sassano’s presidentHandyman services are franchised across the United States.Water can get underneath your shingles and into your home, causing damage.

Make sure your chimney is clean.

Shutterstock/Alexander Raths

Hire a chimney sweep once a year to inspect your fireplace for safety and to clean out the ashes from previous fires.If you use your fireplace with wood on a regular basis, Ingram recommends cleaning out the soot.You should also double-check that your chimney’s cover is secure and that no birds or other critters have taken up residence, according to Sassano.

Examine your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Man changing batteries in a smoke detector or alarm

Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

Every six months, it’s a good idea to test the devices and replace the batteries, making this a chore for the fall and spring.Also, double-check that you have enough fire extinguishers and that they are stored properly.

Replace the filters in your heating and air conditioning systems.

Senior man changing a folded dirty air filter in the HVAC furnace system in basement of home

Shutterstock/Steve Heap

When the filters in most forced-air systems are clean, they work better.While some filters are advertised to last several months, people who have pets or live in old houses with a lot of dust should change their filters on a monthly basis.

Caulk the windows and doors.

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Around windows, cold air can easily enter your home.After a few years, caulking wears out.Many homeowners can complete this task for less than $20.

Weatherstripping can be repaired, added to, or replaced.

Shutterstock/Audrius Merfeldas

Exterior doors with good weatherstripping can save energy and make you feel more comfortable in the winter.If you can see light coming in around your doors from the outside, it’s time to get them fixed.Look into other home improvements that can help you save money on your heating bills.

Wrap exposed pipes in a blanket.

Pipe insulation

Shutterstock Wichien Tepsuttinun

Wrapping pipes in exterior walls or outside makes them less likely to freeze during the winter.Nothing is more expensive than having a pipe burst in your home, according to Sassano.Wrapping exterior pipes in the fall is a good idea even in climates where freezes are uncommon.Inquire of all the Texans who were caught off guard by the 2021 winter storm.

Sprinkler systems should be turned off and drained.

Water sprinklers on lawn

Anna Subbotina Shutterstock

Along with turning off and draining any sprinkler systems in your yard, you should also turn off and drain any exterior spigots.Also, remember to drain and bring in hoses.

Your lawn should be aerated.

Child on green lawn

Shutterstock/Anna Nahabed

Poking holes in your lawn and topsoil with a machine allows air and water to reach the roots.When the lawn is wet, this is the best time to do it.The procedure aids in its recovery for the following season.When it snows and the snow melts, the aerated areas help the water get to your lawn’s root system, according to Ingram.

Trees should be pruned

Home in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Shutterstock / Vineyard Perspective

Trimming trees properly keeps them healthy, and you should hire someone who knows what they’re doing for the job.In cold climates, you want to keep weak branches from falling on your house or car if they become weighed down by snow.You want to avoid wind damage in hotter climates.

Ceiling fans should be turned in a different direction.

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In the summer, fans are set to run counterclockwise, creating a cool breeze beneath the fan.In the winter, however, they should run counterclockwise.Heat rises, and you don’t want to waste it at the ceiling level, according to Sassano.You want to get it back down to the people’s level.

Make a list of your snow equipment.

Man with snow blower

Olivera White is a photographer who works for Shutterstock.

Check that your shovels are in good working order, that your snow blower is in good working order, and that you have sand and salt on hand.It’s just easier to get them now before they sell out, according to Reagan.

Clean up and store your summer gear.

Pool floats

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Now that the warm weather has passed, there’s no need to bring out your lawn furniture, grill, or water toys.Reagan says, “It just makes your springtime so much easier.”

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