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As the season changes from summer to fall, it’s time to start thinking about pumpkins, apple cider, and relaxing by the fire. As a homeowner, it’s also time to perform a few tasks around the house to get it ready for winter. Here are ten home maintenance tasks you should be doing every year!

1. Clean Your Gutters

Once all of the leaves have fallen from your trees, remove all debris from your gutters to prevent clogs and ice dams. As you do, take a look inside for grit or pieces of your shingles, which can indicate an issue with your roof. Check the gutters and downspouts, as well as brackets and hangers. Replace any worn or damaged parts. 

2. Look Over the Roof

Using a pair of binoculars, check your roof over for signs of damage, such as:

  • Warped, buckled, or cracked shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Flashing rust
  • Moss or lichen growth

These issues can point toward serious problems. If you notice anything wrong, contact a roofing expert right away. Homeguard Roofing and Restoration can perform a roof inspection and repair any issues, keeping you safe and warm all winter.  

3. Check the Foundation

Water that accumulates around your foundation can lead to cracks and leaks. Take a walk around your home’s foundation to make sure that it slopes away from your house to keep water from collecting where it shouldn’t.

4. Empty the Sprinklers

You won’t need to run your sprinklers during the winter. Use the fall months to empty the system. Water left in buried irrigation lines can freeze, which may lead to broken lines or sprinkler heads. As you drain your sprinklers, be sure to remove the sprinkler heads and shake them out.   

5. Store Your Garden Hoses

Before the cold settles in, remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving them attached allows water to back up into the pipes just inside your exterior walls, which could then freeze. Shut off any water supply lines that lead to those exterior faucets. While you’re at it, make sure your garden hoses are empty and store them away in the garage or storage shed. 

6. Put Your Lawnmower Away

You won’t be mowing any grass in winter. Give the machine a good cleaning and prepare it for a long rest. Remove caked-on grass and debris from the deck. Basic maintenance like adding fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and oiling the spark plug hole will also help keep the machine in good condition and ensure it’s ready to go in the spring. 

7. Trim Tree Branches

The summer growth cycle for trees and shrubs ends in late fall. Once it does, get out the shears and trim back branches at least three feet from your house. This will keep water from dripping on your home and prevent potential damage should there be any strong winds. 

8. Seal Leaks

Go around the exterior of your house and look for cracks. Check around window and door frames, between trim and siding, and where pipes and wires enter your home. Sealing any cracks prevents energy loss and keeps your energy bills down

9. Inspect Your Heater

As temperatures dip, you’ll run your heater more. The last thing you want during the most frigid months of the year is for your heat to go out. Schedule a maintenance visit with a heating and cooling specialist to check for and fix any issues. You should also make sure to change your air filter at this time. 

10. Prepare Your Fireplace 

There’s not much better than a cozy fire in winter. Take a flashlight and look inside the chimney to make sure the dampers open and close properly. Look into the flue for nests, branches, and other debris. Check your firebox as well for missing or damaged bricks or mortar. If you didn’t have your chimney cleaned in spring, you should schedule an appointment before using your fireplace for the first time. 

Getting your home winter-ready in fall can help you avoid serious issues in the coldest months of the year. As you’re swapping out your wardrobe and decorating for the fall season, make sure to take care of these items as well.