Do-It-Yourself Rodent Control

Take A Preventative Stance With This Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Winter can be quite hard on your home's exterior, but by taking a few steps in the fall, you can prevent most issues. As the months get cooler this year, complete this simple list of tasks to ensure your roof, gutters, and windows make it through to next year.

Carefully inspect your roof.

Just glancing up and checking for loose shingles is not sufficient. Many leaks are caused not by loose shingles, but by loose or damaged flashing. So, climb up on the roof (wait for a dry day so you don't slip), and take a look at the metal flashing around your chimney, roofing joints, and other roof projections. If it appears to be dented, rusting, or missing, have a roofing contractor out to replace it before the winter weather hits and water starts seeping in.

Of course, you should pay attention to the shingles, too. If any appear loose, you can use some roofing cement and a nail or two to fix them in place. However, if you have a large number of missing shingles, you may wish to contact a roofing supply company like American Building & Roofing Inc to get the necessary materials. You may also want to consider having a professional come replace that entire section of roof.

Clean your gutters.

If your gutters are clogged going into winter, ice is going to build up in them. This will not only lead to misshapen gutters, but it may also cause water to seep in along the edge of your roof. Put on a pair of gloves, and scoop out any debris you find in your gutters. Then, pour some water into the gutters to rinse out the small debris and also to make sure water flows freely through the downspouts.

Check to ensure your downspouts are properly attached to the main gutters, too. If they seem to wiggle or fall off when you touch them, you can bet they'll blow off in a harsh winter wind, too. The easiest way to anchor them in place more permanently is to apply some epoxy to the joint between the gutter and the downspout. It will harden and act like a strong glue.

Check your window seals.

Windows are a huge source of energy loss in most homes. Take a look at each of your windows, and if you see any areas where the glass has separated from the sash or where the window no longer fits snugly into the frame, use rope caulk to seal the gap. Simply cut a strip of rope caulk and press it into the gap using your fingers. This will keep your home from losing as much heat in the wintertime.