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10 Ways to Get Your Home’s Exterior Ready for Fall

woman raking leaves in the fall

10 Ways to Get Your Home’s Exterior Ready for Fall

Picnics and BBQ’s are coming to an end, and the next few months will usher in another cold Iowa winter. With the kids back in school, your schedule back to normal, and fewer distractions from all the fun of summer living, it’s time to prioritize home maintenance before the cold winter months. When it comes to your home’s exterior, here are 10 projects that will help smooth your transition from fall to winter.

10 Things to Do Before Fall

1. Clean gutters

After all the leaves have fallen, it’s probably time to clear out your gutters. If you have a bunch of debris, leaves, and gunk clogging up your home’s gutter, it’s going to be more difficult for water to flow down. This can lead to nasty blockages and increase the risk of ice freezing in your gutters and causing serious damage. You can either do it yourself with a ladder and a gutter scoop or call up some local professionals to get the job done quicker

2. Consider a paint job

Early fall is a great time to paint your home’s exterior. Fall temperatures are often moderate—not too hot, not too cold—which is ideal for starting a painting project. In addition, early fall tends to offer fewer fluctuations in humidity than summertime. The less humidity, the better your paint finish.

3. Trim dead branches

With heavy winter snows on the way, you don’t want to leave dead branches in close vicinity to your home. Though DIY is always great, you may need to invest in some outside help to expedite and simplify the process—especially if there are large dead branches to prune.

4. Rake leaves

After the last heavy leaf fall, make sure that you rake your lawn to prevent leaving a heavy mat all over your lawn. It can smother your grass and lead to brown patches later on. It also can protect pests and encourage mold from forming.

5. Check your roof for damage

Now’s the time: check your roof and shingles for any damage. Are there missing shingles? Is there mold developing? It’s going to be almost impossible to get someone up there to do this maintenance once the roof is icy and covered with snow, so this is really the perfect time to replace shingles or even (if needed) finally do that roof renovation.

6. Disconnect faucets and hoses

It’s one of those small yet forgettable details that makes all the difference. Before water has the chance to freeze in pipes and hoses, disconnect all your outdoor water sources. You’ll prevent any disasters from occurring from water swelling as it freezes, and set yourself up for a smoother spring

7. Clean outside of windows and window sills

You’re definitely not going to want to be outside in the depths of February cleaning window sills and windows. Before it gets too cold and the freezing rain starts falling, either invest in a professional or do it yourself: scrape the gunk off outside window sills and clean windows till they shine.

8. Caulk along exterior window frames wood trim

While you’re focusing on cleaning windows, check the wood trim on your exterior window frames. Make sure that there’s no mold, soft spots, or cracks developing. If there are gaps between wood trim and windows, now’s the time to do a quick caulking job to prevent further damage along the way.

9. Install storm windows

Though there’s an up-front cost, storm windows can help reduce heating costs throughout the winter. Make sure you install them before cold nights kick in to up your savings in heating costs and enjoy some of the other perks of storm windows, like noise and draft reduction.

10. Check your siding

Fall’s the time to undertake any last-minute maintenance on your siding. If you have wood siding, take a long hard look and make sure that you’re not going to be suffering any lasting damage from a moist and harsh winter. Though it might seem like it’s not worthwhile to do before winter, power washing your vinyl exterior will set up your siding for success and help prevent the buildup of mold and mildew.

As we prepare to move into another winter, make sure that your home is up to par with the changing of the seasons. With its moderate temperatures and pleasant crispness, fall is an excellent time to spend more time outside and prioritize exterior maintenance —before the first freeze or snowstorm of winter.

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