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Checklist: Five Areas of Your Home to Inspect Every Fall

While spring is usually associated with fresh home repairs, fall preparations can save you from costly problems when winter storms and freezing temperatures arrive. Check these five places around your home to see if you need to repair or replace anything before winter begins.

1. Roof

It is relatively easy to check your roof for damages or signs of wear. Start indoors by looking in your attic. See if the plywood decking is sagging, there are any signs of water damage or leaks, and make sure there is no outside light coming through. Then, head outside to evaluate the exterior. See if the shingles are curling, broken, or missing, look for cracked caulk or rust spots on the flashing – the metal pieces that direct water away from joints – and check around your house for loose asphalt granules.

In some cases, your roof simply needs a repair, rather than a full replacement. If you are missing a few shingles or exposed nail heads and loose flashing need to be resealed, then small repairs will do the job. However, if you see signs of water damage to your roof decking or many shingles curling up, then it may be time for a full roof replacement. Fall is a great time for roof replacement as you can take advantage of the ideal temperatures and can add insulation before cold weather hits. Whether you need minor roof repairs or a full replacement, it is important to do so before winter arrives. With freezing temperatures, water can make its way under shingles, expand, and cause even worse damage.

2. Siding

Walk around your house and look closely at the siding. Is it cracked, warped, molding, or dry rotting? If so, it could cost you money in increased energy bills, or worse it could allow moisture into your home this fall and winter.

While we often think of siding as being decorative, it is actually acts as a shield around your home. If this shield has gaps, cracks, or other defects, it could be letting moisture into the walls and affect your home’s ability to control the temperature. When moisture penetration goes untreated, it eventually causes mold and rot, which can damage the structural integrity of your home.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

3. Gutters

Take time to clean out your gutters, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. Fall leaves accumulate quickly, leading to backups that can cause water damage or even contribute to ice dams when the temperatures reach freezing. Additionally, if your gutters do not redirect rainwater away from your home’s foundation, your foundation can begin to develop cracks turning a minor repair into a major home improvement problem.

Most gutters can last up to 30 years with routine maintenance, so if you have some loose fasteners or stubborn leaf and dirt deposits, then it is time for a cleaning and repair before the problem worsens. However, if your gutters are beyond repair, then now is a good time to replace them. Every home is unique, and gutters should work with your existing features to efficiently move water away from your foundation. If you need a replacement, Brothers can design and manufacture custom gutters at your home in as little as a day.

4. Windows

Look at your windows from the inside first, checking for damaged caulking and air leaks. Hold a candle, slowly moving it around the window to see if a draft pulls the smoke in a particular direction. If so, you have detected an air leak, and it is time to replace worn weather-stripping or caulk those spots.

Next, walk around your house and check the outside of your windows. If your window frames show signs of rot or mold or you see condensation on the inside panes, it may be time for window replacement. New windows not only increase curb appeal, but they also improve energy efficiency, provide better security, and make for an overall more comfortable home.

5. Chimney

Before you fire up your chimney for the season, make sure to have an annual inspection. While you can check your chimney yourself, it is a good idea to hire an expert. An experienced tradesperson can check if your flue lining – the interior that keeps gasses and fire from escaping the chimney – is  intact, the brickwork and mortar are in good shape, screens are properly installed, and your chimney cap – the cover that keeps rain, drafts, and animals out – is well maintained.

If there are cracks in the chimney lining, they can allow heat and flame to reach combustible parts of your home, which could result in a house fire. Additionally, cracks in the brickwork and mortar will collect water, which freezes in the winter and expands, making the crack larger and the problem worse. Regular maintenance and inspections not only preserve the beauty of your chimney, but they increase the lifespan and help you avoid a potential hazard.

If you can take care of something that seems like a small issue in the fall, then you can avoid a much bigger and more costly project next spring. No matter what you need done on your home this fall, Brothers is here to help. Schedule a free consultation to meet with one of our experienced consultants today.