Fall Outdoor Home Maintenance Tips

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For many people, fall is their favourite time of year. The leaves turn into beautiful colours, the food is delicious, and there are wonderful holidays to celebrate. The only downside is home maintenance. It is important that you keep up with your to-do lists before the winter’s cold.

Here’s a list of things you can get done on a single weekend this fall. It will save you money and trouble later down the road.

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#1. Trim trees, shrubs, and hedges

If you have any trees with branches that hang over the roof, trim them back. These provide mice and squirrels with easy access to the attic. The leaves from those branches will fall right into the gutters, and they might even break during the winter and cause damage to the roof. If you cannot cut them safely, call an arborist for help.

Trim your shrubs and hedges before the end of the season, too. Cut back vines so they do not block your windows. Animals looking for a place to hibernate are drawn to shady and overgrown yards.

#2. Rake the leaves and tidy up the yard

Rake the leaves in the fall. Fallen leaves give pests a place to hide, and squirrels will use them to build nests. Use these leaves for compost if you don’t want them to go to waste.

Make sure you don’t leave any debris on the sides of the house, like in window wells. Tidy up the yard and harvest your fruits and vegetables as they ripen. Do not let anything rot on the ground. Fallen produce will attract insects, skunks, raccoons, and rodents. If you’ve had trouble with pests before, call Kelly’s Pest Control or another professional near you.

#3. Clean the gutters

Gutters that are full of leaves will attract squirrels, and if they get blocked, water will pool into the foundation of the home. Clean your gutters every year to prevent this from happening. Put on a pair of gloves and scoop everything out of the gutters to allow water to flow. Pour some water or run a hose through the gutters when you are done.

#4. Check on the roof

How often do you have your roof inspected? This fall, examine your soffits and the edges of your roof for damages. Look for holes, dents, or chew marks. If your shingles are severely worn, it may be time to have them replaced. Consider fixing the roof before the winter’s rain and snow.

If you see any signs of wildlife, contact a wildlife removal company immediately. They can diagnose the issue and remove the animals safely. They can also help prevent this from happening again next fall.

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#5. Maintain the deck

Skunks, raccoons, and other animals often burrow under decks to wait out the winter. Check the sides of your deck or porch for openings and seal them shut. Gaps over an inch wide should be closed off. Use wooden pieces or a thick steel mesh to close them off. For bonus protection, dig a trench along the sides of the deck, then screw a mesh into its sides. This will prevent any animals from digging underneath.

Clean the deck by scraping off moldy or damaged areas, then brush the deck with a deck cleaner. Hose the deck clean when you are done. If the paint on your deck is starting to wear off, consider restoring it in the spring. Stack and cover your patio furniture at the end of the season to protect them from the snow.

#6. Seal cracks in the walls and foundation

Cracks in the window frames create drafts, letting the cold air in. Seal these shut with a silicone caulking. Then, take a look at your foundation. Are there cracks? Small cracks can be sealed with more caulking or with an epoxy sealer. If there are large, horizontal, or bulging cracks in your foundation, call a foundation specialist. Sealing these cracks will keep bugs out and prevent water from seeping in.

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