Fall is here, even though just like yesterday, it felt like summer.
Each year, after the Labor Day Holiday, it’s as if summer comes to an abrupt end and all of the fall delicacies like apple spice flavors, pumpkin this, and orange leaves flood our life. Pools are drained and the mornings are cool.
There are tons of reasons why fall is the optimal time for completing things like cleaning your gutters, having fun, watching football, doing some roof maintenance, and landscaping. The cool weather makes it ideal to get outside.
And while fall marks football season, it is still important to stay on top of your home maintenance with all the foliage falling. This includes inspecting your roof this autumn can help catch issues before winter kicks in and makes matters worse.
Here are a few things you should check off your list this fall to ensure your roof stays in tip-top shape:
1. Clear Gutters and Downspouts
With leaves falling this autumn, it’s important to keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear to prevent issues like buildup, leaks, and more. And – with regular maintenance – you’ll be more likely to catch any current issues like pooling water or weakened brackets before they become a bigger problem.
To clean your gutters is pretty simple:
Option 1: Call someone to do it for you
Option 2: Install gutter guards
Option 3: Do it yourself
If you go with option 3, just be sure to practice ladder safety and do some research prior. Most accidents occur because of ladders, so please be safe!
2. Aerate & Overseed Your Lawn
While you won’t be able to do every single thing on this list in one hour, heck even one day, September/October in Northern, VA is the perfect time to aerate your yard and overseed it.
Lawns in Northern Virginia are “Cool Weather” grasses and this means the peak growing season is spring and fall. It’s best to aerate each fall to help recondition soil and make new grass growth possible.
You can rent an aerator with your neighbors, or simply buy a handheld aerator if your yard is small online or at a hardware store!
- Rake your lawn some
- Cut it
- Aerate it
- Seed it
- Don’t mow for 4-5 weeks while the grass grows!
3. Install Gutter Guards
After ensuring your gutters are clean, installing a self-cleaning gutter guard isn’t a bad ideal at all!
In order to reduce the amount of work required to keep them clean each year, gutter guards are an easy way to minimize maintenance and ensure the longevity of your gutters – both of which will be much appreciated as more leaves come down throughout the season.
However, that doesn’t mean EVERY gutter guard is created the same. Here at Top Dog Home Pro we recommend checking out the Raindrop Gutter Guard because it is “Self Cleaning.”
In fact, we are so confident in the Raindrop Gutter Guard we offer a lifetime no-clog warranty.
4. Schedule a Roof Inspection
Above all else, now is the prime time to inspect your roof, and you can have it done while you watch college football!
If your roof needs replacing or even minor repairs, you want to be sure to catch it now before the snow, ice and cold temperatures make it more difficult to address. Typically, what happens when snow accumulates on a roof, it can make problems worse or roof leaks bigger.
You can do this yourself with a pair of binoculars, simply look for loose or missing shingles. That being said, it’s best to have a professional roofing company give you a second set of eyes too!
Schedule an inspection today and get the peace of mind you need to enjoy the rest of the season!
5. Trim Trees & Bushes
Do you see a theme with leaves and trees? Their leaves can cause issues.
Trim back branches that seem to be getting too close to your home to keep your roof safe. This also helps avoid extra leaves clogging your gutters. Additionally, “Dead-wooding,” is a good idea to do later in fall.
Removing the dead branches, clipping ends, trimming ornamental grasses, and cutting back your bushes will add curb appeal and prep your landscaping for the spring season!
Adopt the mindset, less is more, and spend a few hours each spring in fall in your yard and you will avoid having to completely overhaul your landscaping every few years like your neighbor!
6. Service Your Lawnmower
Inspect your lawnmower to ensure it is in proper working condition.
Once you’re done mulching the leaves and grass in late October, get your lawnmower ready for spring by shutting it down for the winter!
Clean undercarriage, sharpen blades, and ensure gasoline is drained! The former is especially important because gasoline left in the tank can get stale and a bit gummy in the winter, which can damage the carburetor.
Refer to the owner’s manual for additional instructions!
7. Prepare Outdoor Water Spigots
As winter approaches and after you know you won’t need outdoor water anymore, be sure to prepare your water spigots.
Typically, this takes all of 5-10 minutes. Find out where your outdoor water cut-off valves are (near the furnace usually) and turn them off. Go outside and turn on spigots to let water drain out. Keep them halfway open for the winter to prevent freezing and bursting pipes (lingering water).
It doesn’t hurt to also get a cheap $2 cover from the store to go over your spigots that are outside!
8. Consider the Rest –
Just because it is not on this list, doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Some homeowners prefer to paint in the fall (though we say wait until after winter) or make crafts and decorate for Halloween. That being said, if you like to do other things each fall, go for it!
Just be sure to complete what we call the “Big 3” for the fall homeowner:
- Check gutters and clean them after leaves fall
- Aerate your lawn and seed it (helps property values when you have a lush lawn)
- Check your roof for any issues before harsh winters come!
The Verdict –
It is one thing for your home to endure harsh winter storms, it is another to set your home up the right way in the fall. For example, installing gutter guards prior to the winter can actually help prevent your gutters from falling due to heavy snow and leaves in clogged gutters.
As the saying goes, it is always better to prepare instead of having to repair.
Either way, be sure to always make sure your home is ready for the ice, wind, and cold that Northern Virginia experiences in December, January, and February and if you need a professional exterior home expert, just let us know here!