As I watch the fall sunsets and colored foliage among us, along with all the fall decorations, carved pumpkins and my wife’s cinnamon and apple candle scents all through the house along with the half eaten bowls of Halloween candy; these are not the only things we should be thinking of, as there are important tasks to complete in the fall before winter.
Below, I will outline a ‘not-so-scary’ list of house projects that we all will need to complete in the Autumn to help keep our home safe and warm all winter long. There are many points, but I have chosen my top 5 picks for this article.
Clean your gutters
You should be periodically inspecting your roof for branches and leaves that pile up on the roof. If they’re in your yard and you’re picking them up, you can bet they’re on your roof and in the gutters. If you have an accumulation of leaves and debris, it will prevent your gutters from doing their job of taking the water from the roof and disbursing it through the downspouts and away from the home. If left unattended, water can dam up from clogs, causing leaky roofs, mold and serious damage.
Repair any roof leaks
Any minor roof leak can turn into a major problem as the temperatures freeze during winter. Doing a small amount of preventive care can save you from spending a lot of money later, as well as spare you the headaches of dealing with a much more severe problem. Check the shingles for curling or missing pieces and make sure all your metal flashing is secure and in place. Checking the ridge line, valleys and around chimneys are especially critical as this is where many issues start.
Although we went over this in last month’s article, I wanted to touch on it again. Drafts in your home can be a real nuisance. Buy some caulk or crack filler and check around windows, doors, vents, lights, etc. and plug any gaps or cracks. Window treatments help keep out the cold drafts, and these tiny improvements can really make a difference.
Chimney inspection and cleaning
If your home has a wood burning fireplace or wood stove, it is so important to inspect the chimney to be sure there are no blockages, nests or soot build-up from the previous year. It is best to have your chimney swept, cleaned and cleared of any debris before you start your first fire of the season. This is typically done by a licensed chimney sweep and generally not that expensive for the peace-of-mind, knowing Mr. squirrel and his family have not moved in over the summer months.
Don’t forget your lawn!
There’s a lot to go over on this one and can probably have its own article. Although you look forward to the break of mowing, weed eating (no, not eating weeds), weed pulling and plant pruning, let’s not forget we want to have a healthy start to our lawns in the spring when you get your mower and hardware out. To prep your lawn for success in the spring, you’ll want to thatch, seed the bare spots (if not too cold yet) and at the very least spread a layer of fertilizer on your lawn before the ground freezes. Your lawn will thank you for it by greening up nicely in the springtime. Also don’t forget to blowout your sprinkler system if you have one.
More About the Author:
Tony Onesti is the founder and owner of US Construction Group and US Electrical Construction Co., Inc., located on Main St. He has been in the construction industry for over 35 years and was born and raised a South Jersian. He lives in Woodstown with his wife Sherry where they raised their daughter and son. He has a passion for supporting local commerce, all things construction and of course his family. Tony authors articles on home maintenance, improvement, and construction in a desire to share his expertise with his neighbors and friends.
More About US Construction Group:
US Construction Group is nationally known for complete build-outs of recognized brands such as Shake Shack, Ann Taylor, Ballard Design and Saks 5th Ave. Locally, US Construction rebuilt blueplate restaurant for the Malaby family after a devastating fire. Tony’s company also provided a renovation for Fran and TJ Coakley for their launch of Fun and Fit Aftercare. Most recently, US Electrical teamed up with Dan Hall Electrical Contractors, a Mullica Hill firm. The US Construction team includes expertise in all aspects of construction and provides services to residential, commercial and retail clients alike.