Fall Into Home Improvement

0918FallCleanUpCool nights. Beautiful foliage. The return of football. The fall season sure is a great time to be outdoors. It's also a great time to make improvements to one of your greatest assets — your home.

Here are some quick home improvement projects you can take on to prepare your home for the winter ahead:

  • Clean up your yard. Lawn care isn't just for spring. The work you do in the fall will clear the path for a better yard in the spring. In addition to raking leaves, you can fertilize your grass, aerate your soil, and prune back overgrown or dead trees and shrubs
  • Check your roof. Harsh winters can do a number on your roof. Try to do a visual inspection of your roof to look for damage. If you notice missing shingles or leaks, have a professional repair or seal them.
  • Clean your gutters. Your gutters play an important role in helping keep water from getting into your home. Be sure to remove excess debris from them, such as leaves and branches.
  • Power wash. Power washing can help remove grime and mold that may be built up on the exterior of your home. Make sure you have the proper pressure level to avoid removing paint or siding.
  • Check for and seal leaks. Leaks can result in the loss of heat and energy — and ultimately, higher heating costs. Be sure to inspect common areas for leaks, such as your attic or windows, and to seal any you may find.
  • Have your furnace inspected. A professional can ensure that your furnace is operating at maximum efficiency and that it will be ready for the cold winter ahead.
  • Clean your fireplace. If you frequently use your fireplace, be sure to have a professional clean and inspect it every year.
  • Paint your exterior. Give your home a fresh and clean look with a new paint job. The cooler temperatures make fall an ideal time for painting.
  • Winterize your grill. Get out your wire brush and start scrubbing your grill. Remove propane tanks and store it in a dry location.
  • Repair cracks in your driveway or walkways. Cold temperatures and moisture can cause cracks to spread, so it's important to seal cracks on your driveway and walkways to prevent further damage.
  • Winterize sprinklers. Turn off exterior faucets. If you have a sprinkler system, be sure to have a professional winterize lines to avoid freezing and bursting.
  • Organize your garage. Put away summer and spring items, such as beach chairs and bicycles to make room for your snow blower, shovels, and other winter equipment.

Another step you can take is to arrange for an energy assessment. An energy assessment, conducted by a professional energy auditor, will allow you to evaluate the energy consumption of your home and to determine ways you can improve efficiency. Best of all, it can help you rake in the savings from lower energy costs.