Get Your Home Ready for Fall After a Long, Hot Summer
By the end of August, summer’s heat starts to wane, and the scent of fall is in the air. This makes for the perfect time to get outside and prep your home for the oncoming season. With that in mind, take a look at our August home maintenance checklist for eight important outdoor home maintenance tasks you should take care of in order to best prepare for autumn.
1. Prune Dead Limbs, Branches, Plants and More
Dead tree limbs and branches will pose a danger in the winter because the wind, ice, and snow can cause them to break off. So, get yourself ahead of this problem by pruning away any dead branches and limbs and pull out any dead plants or shrubs. Doing so will not only make your home’s landscaping looking cleaner, but you’ll also be setting yourself up for the following spring’s growing season.
2. Clean the Gutters
You might think you don’t have to worry about cleaning out your gutters until the leaves start falling, but the truth is, summer’s thunderstorms can deposit all manner of debris in your gutters. So, a good practice to adopt is to clean out your gutters before the annual falling of the leaves. This will ensure a clean start to the extensive amount of leaf clean-up you’ll be doing in the fall.
3. Clean and Seal Your Deck
If you didn’t clean and seal your deck in the spring, then you will want to do it in August. With fall and winter coming, your deck is going to be exposed to inclement weather, and if you live in an area that receives plenty of snowfall, then you’ll want to make sure your deck is protected. While you’re out there, check the deck for any loose or curled boards, popped up nails, and loose fittings, and then fix anything you come across.
4. Check Your Roof
Those same summer storms that can clog your gutters can also wreak havoc on your roof. In fact, if your roof is older, you may find granules from your shingles in your gutters. So, before the cold season arrives, look for signs of missing or damaged shingles and check the flashing around your roof exhaust vents, skylights, chimney, or anything else that breaches your roof’s surface.
5. Replace the Weather-Stripping on Your External Door
If your external doors have old weather-stripping or none at all, August is one of the best times to apply or replace it. Making sure your doors are well-sealed and insulated will keep your home more comfortable and energy efficient throughout the coldest months of the year.
6. Clean and Inspect Windows
August is also a great time to clean the windows on the outside of the home. It further allows you to check for damage, such as torn screens and missing or cracked caulk. Cleaning away the old caulk and applying a fresh bead will help seal the gaps and prevent warm air from leaving the home.
7. Manage Flying Pest Problems
Late summer is when the flying pests become their most problematic. Mosquitoes are more active, wasps are more aggressive, and spending any time outdoors can often become a game of duck-and-dive. To deal with mosquitos, you should take a walk around your property and empty any sources of standing or stagnant water. You can also use citronella candles, electric bug zappers, or mosquito traps.
If you have wasps, then you need to locate where they’re coming from. Scan your yard to see where they’re emerging from and returning to. Once you locate their nest, apply a wasp treatment near the opening. Reapply every couple of days until you no longer see any wasps.
8. Clean Stone Surfaces
If you have a natural stone patio or walkway, then over the summer it will naturally accumulate grime and dirt. In August, you should clean your stone surfaces to restore their beauty. Wipe any dust or debris from the stone, and clean the surface using a gentle, neutral-pH cleaner and soft cloth. You can also apply a coat of water-based penetrating sealer to protect your tiles from developing additional stains over the fall and winter.