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7 Fall Exterior Home Maintenance Projects To Tackle This OctoberOctober 5th, 2020 by
For many people, October brings a hint of chill to the air and weather that beckons us to spend more time outdoors. Unburdened by the oppressive heat of summer, now is the time to tackle some of those exterior home maintenance tasks on your to-do list. These seven project ideas offer enough variety to keep you busy all month long.
1. Get a Jump on Spring Gardening
Fall is a great time to look forward. Checking a few of these October tasks in the garden off your list can help you get a jump start on spring.
- Plant spring bulbs for an early pop of color
- Rake leaves into the compost pile
- Add mulch to garden beds
- Put in vegetables like onions, garlic and asparagus that need to overwinter
2. Inspect the Roof
While you might think of a new roof as a lifetime investment, the reality is that most shingles only last between 20 and 30 years. Toward the end of that period, material integrity becomes questionable. It is always better to catch roof problems early, when a small repair may be enough to remedy the situation. That is where a roof inspection comes in.
Walk around your home, looking for any loose shingles or other signs of trouble. Bare spots and lifting corners are sure signs that the roof is worn and in need of repair or replacement. The lines should be clean and straight, with no noticeable dips or sags. If you notice any areas with mold or moss growth, clean and treat them.
It might also be a good idea to call in a professional to make sure there isn’t damage to the sheathing. If you happen to live in a region where heavy snow or ice is the norm, any instability in roofing material could be disastrous.
3. Clean and Refinish Siding
Pressure washing your home’s exterior is one of the fall projects you should look at doing every October. Vinyl siding is durable and it will protect your home from the elements for many years. However, it is exposed rather relentlessly to dust, pollen and the sun every single day, which can make it appear dirty and dingy. Luckily, this is one problem that is easy enough to fix. Armed with only a pressure washer, you can restore the appearance of your home’s exterior.
Don’t have a pressure washer? Rent one from your local hardware store or consider buying one. You’ll be surprised at how many uses you’ll find for a pressure washer once you own one!
4. Prepare Patio Furniture for Storage
Relaxing on the back deck is great when you have comfortable outdoor furniture. However, those same pieces that you enjoy all summer aren’t usually well-suited for staying outside in the winter. If you want to have them for next summer, too, then make cleaning and prepping them for storage one of your priority fall tasks.
Wipe down all hard surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner to kill any mold or mildew that may have taken root. Follow washing instructions for any cushions or upholstery, too. Once everything is dry, use protective covers to keep them from getting scratched and dented. If you have extra space in the garage, basement or a shed to store furniture, then go ahead and move everything indoors. Otherwise, stack them in a safe and protected area of the yard for the winter.
5. Clean Out The Gutters
Gutters play an integral role in protecting the structural integrity of your home. They collect and channel water away from the foundation, helping to keep moisture out of basements and crawlspaces. All they need in return is for you to keep them clear of leaves and other debris, which is why cleaning your gutters should be on your October to-do list.
In most cases, you will need a sturdy and appropriate ladder to reach into gutters and clear out any material that has built up. Run water through the downspouts to ensure they are clear as well. Installing leaf guards or screening will help you avoid this home maintenance task in future years.
6. Winterize Lawn Equipment
Investing some time in your outdoor equipment will make spring lawn maintenance go more smoothly. Most equipment can be maintained with just a few basic tools, you don’t need specialized knowledge as long as you can follow the instructions in the owner’s manuals. Check the manufacturer’s websites for additional help if you find yourself halfway through a repair and not sure what to do next.
For the most part, however, lawn equipment can be winterized by following these simple steps:
- Wipe down all surfaces to remove dirt and debris
- Change oil, air and fuel filters
- Add fuel stabilizer to gas-powered equipment
- Store equipment in a protected and dry location
7. Protect Outdoor Water Pipes
Nearly every home has an outdoor water supply, and they are vulnerable to damage in the winter since water expands when it freezes. Once you are done with the hose spigot for the season, go ahead and turn the water supply to it off. Disconnect the hose, drain it and store it indoors.
Schedule to have any automated sprinklers drained and winterized to minimize the chance of freezing and breaking. If you use well water for the house or landscaping, you will also want to inspect those pipes and ensure they are protected. A small heater can help you avoid frozen — and burst — pipes during extreme temperatures.
October is an ideal time to get outdoor home projects done. Whether you want to do the work yourself or you prefer to find qualified local professionals to help, Best Pick Reports is your top source for home maintenance information and resources.