As summer draws to a close, the days are getting shorter and the weather milder. In other words, winter is coming. What does this mean for you and your home? Coming off the fun of summer means you may have neglected some basic home maintenance. Good news, though. You still have time to get prepared.

1. Clean your gutters.

Fall colors are an amazing sight to see, but after the trees have shed their leaves where does all the debris go? You may be thinking, the wind blows my leaves into my neighbor’s yard and gutters or you may not be thinking about it at all. Removal of tree waste is important to the lifetime of your gutters. Gutters are installed to withstand weight, but not the weight leaves and debris can cause. For example, leaves and sticks can dam up gutters and hold water. When this happens, rain no longer has a free pass down the spout. The water drains out the side beating up your lawn and waning the structural integrity of your gutters. A simple fix with a ladder and a leaf blower in the fall turns into contracting out labor in the spring to replace your gutters.

2. Sweep your lawn for leaves and grass clippings.

Your gutters are free of debris, now it’s time for the fun part. Raking a lawn full of leaves into a pile, only to jump in them is always fun. What childhood is complete without this rite of passage? Are there bugs in that pile? Probably. Is it clean? Nope. Is it fun though? Absolutely. Besides that, anytime you can make unpleasant work fun is a win-win in my book. Just remember to bag and dispose of the leaves when you’re done.

3. Stain your outdoor wood surfaces.

Wood surfaces such as decks, gazebos and pergolas are constantly under pressure from the elements. In order to increase the longevity of such structures it is important to seal and cover them as needed. Ways to tell it’s time include; faded stain or paint, paint flaking off or the overall appearance is unsightly. There are a couple of ways to go about this. Buy some rollers, paint brushes and a few gallons of stain or paint and get after it. Or you could contract this job out. Either way, this is a good time of year to get it done.

4. Reverse your ceiling fans.

Ah yes, heat rises. As the temperature drops, you will also want your heat to drop onto your lap while you sit in your recliner enjoying hot coco on cold winter nights. Or whatever you’re into. Turn your ceiling fan off and switch the fan motor into reverse using the switch.

5. Caulk windows and doors

Homes undergo a natural occurrence called expansion and contraction. This happens due to yearly temperature change. For a drastic example, winter can be 30 degrees while summer can get above 90 degrees. This is a 60 degree difference. As the temperature rises, your home expands and as it gets colder your home contracts. This means the caulk sealing around your doors and windows can crack and separate. Fall is a good time to re-apply exterior door and window caulk to help keep bugs out and heat in.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure you’re getting the most out of your house.



This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.