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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Cleaning To-Do List

Fall is in the air.  With a new season comes another to-do list.  Even the newest of homes demand occasional upkeep so take the time to walk around your home and make a mental list of those items in need of attention.  With fall fully upon us and winter just around the corner, here's a brief list of items to tackle, one at a time, so you can settle in for a worry-free winter.


  • Inspect your shingles once a year.  Check for cracked, cupped, curling or broken shingles.  Pay attentions to the f lashings as well and call a recommended roofer for further concerns.  (I have names)
  • Trim away any tree limbs that hang over the roof, especially branches that touch the shingles, which make them wear out faster.
  • Clear gutters of debris with a trowel.
  • Flush gutters and downspouts with a garden hose to clear away remaining sludge, and to get a look at how well the water drains.  A leaky or overflowing gutter can cause fascia boards to rod.
  • Wash away mold and mildew with a solution of one part household bleach and three parts water.
  • Brick and stone veneers can accumulate a powdery surface deposit called efflorescence.  It's harmless and can be scrubbed away, but it's also a sign of water infiltration.  Seal any cracks you find with masonry caulk and brush a masonry sealer over the entire surface.
  • Replace broken pains and check all seals, replacing as necessary.
  • Scrape off and replace any glazing putty/caulk that is cracked or has pulled away from the glass.
  • Bare spots should be reseeded and top-dressed with a thin layer of soil.
  • Fix small drainage problems by filling low spots with fresh soil.
  • Allowing fallen leaves accumulate on grass can kill it; rake them away or use a mulching mower to chop them for compost
  • When the lawn stops growing and goes dormant, give it a final cut that's a little shorter than usual.  Then spread a fertilizer that's the right mixture for fall and winter.
  • Identify which shrubs should be protected and shelter them with burlap.
  • Rake beds clean of leaves and other debris.  Then add a layer of compost and peat moss to improve nitrogen levels.

Alike anytime of year, should you need the help of a qualified expert, please just ask me.  I have a list of reputable local contractors from roofers to masons, designers to landscapers.

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