Today HGTV's Anthony Gilardi provides Top Tips for Prepping Your Home for the Fall Season. It's never too soon to be prepared.Got a home repair or home improvement question? Then Ask Anthony TODAY in the comments below! Anthony is at our beck and call on CafeMom every other week.
First, let's prep your home for one of nature's most important laws: gravity. Gravity is what gave Autumn it's familiar nickname: Fall. So, let's start at the top and work our way down: roofs, chimney tops, and gutters, the three areas that get the most attention from Mom Nature.
Let's get up on the roof and check things out.
We need to make sure the condition of our shingles are in good enough shape to handle falling debris that will cause further damage creating a larger "winter" problems.
Check for age spots, discoloration, buckling, and breakage. Repairing these areas now for minimum cost will save you future mid-winter headaches and prolong the lifespan of your entire roof. Remember, repairing costs a lot less than replacing.
Next, we need to make sure that all vents and chimney stacks are properly covered. I suggest replacing aging covers every five years. Most roof vent covers and chimney stack covers are made out of weather-treated thin metal that is very affordable. Rule of thumb: covers should let air in and out and nothing else. You don't want those prepping small animals and birds to use these areas of your home as their homes.
Gutters, gutters, gutters... If you do only one thing to prep for Fall, please let it be maintaining your gutters.
Closely inspect your gutters and downspouts EVERY year around this time. Repair and or replace your gutters when and where needed. Damaged and nonfunctional gutters and downspouts can lead to much bigger and much more expensive problems, from roof damage to foundation damage. One more time...inspect, repair, and/or replace your gutters and downspouts.
Moving down, like gravity, we need to check the perimeter of your home. Proper downspouts will push water away from your home; however, bad landscaping and grading will push it right back. Make sure the ground around your home is pitched (angled) away from your foundation. If you live in a hilly non-level area, make sure you have proper drainage around the perimeter, particularly the areas that have a more dramatic pitch. And get those falling leaves away from the house ASAP. They create water dams, bring unwanted guests (pests), and are huge FIRE HAZARDS.
Like the squirrels you see gathering nuts, PLAN AHEAD! It's all in the upkeep. Keep those gutters and downspouts clean! Make sure you have the proper tools for these jobs: ladders, rakes, water hoses, etc.