It seems like it was just days ago we were setting out the patio furniture and pots of geraniums and petunias in anticipation of the summer season. Yet, we blink a couple of times, and already autumn is knocking at the door. Of course, we still have a few warm weeks ahead, but it’s not too soon to conduct an inventory of those tasks that are best tackled before colder weather makes them more of a challenge.
You may have cleaned your gutters and downspouts in the spring, but another inspection is in order as more leaves and pine needles start to fall in the next couple of months. You want to be certain those waterways are cleared of all debris before colder temperatures set in, causing back-ups that may lead to ice dams and damage to eaves and gutters.
Speaking of downspouts, consider adding extensions to these to allow water to drain further away from your home’s foundation. Three feet from the house is an optimal distance to allow water to run off.
If you’ve got a lawn-irrigation system in place, plan on having it drained well before temperature dip toward freezing.
Trim any tree limbs that extend over your roof, and especially those near any chimney. Clear shrubbery and bushes at least one foot away from exterior walls and the foundation. This allows for better ventilation and helps to dry out surfaces and prevent decay and mold.
Inspect your walkways, railings, exterior stairs and steps and your driveway to make sure everything is in good shape and won’t present any sorts of hazards in the colder months when they may be icy or covered in snow.
If you have a snow blower, make sure it’s in good working order. Now is the time to have it serviced if there’s a problem, rather than when snow is already on the ground. And make a note to purchase fuel well in advance of the first snowstorm.
Inspect doors and windows for damage to weatherstripping and caulking. It’s much more pleasant to re-caulk and to replace weatherstripping on a sunny warm afternoon now than it will be when the wind is howling and the thermometer is hovering around 32 degrees!
Many of the tasks listed above can be tackled by even those of us with minimal repair skills. But for those projects that require a bit more expertise, or if you just don’t have the time to address even the simpler ones, your local Handyman Matters Craftsman is ready and eager to help you get your home and property ready for the colder months that are just around the corner!