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    4 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

    Posted by Sophie Bousset on Oct 1, 2019 9:58:24 AM
    Sophie Bousset
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    Fall is officially upon us! (The fall equinox was on Monday, September 23rd, in case you missed it.) With cool, rainy weather on the horizon, this is the perfect time to get your home ready for the change in season. You'll be glad you did when you see friends or neighbors complain that they should have cleaned the gutters or covered backyard furniture sooner!



    sump pump

    1. Examine Sump Pump

    Fall and winter rains lead to a rise in groundwater. And if that water isn't diverted elsewhere? It can flood your basement. Luckily, homes have wonderful electric devices called sump pumps that diverge ground water away from your foundation, protecting it and your basement from water damage. They can, however, stop working. You'll want to do some basic maintenance to ensure proper functioning before the rains start. Not sure what you're doing? No problem! You can always get professional help

     

     


    2. Clean Gutters & Downspouts

    There's a reason you hear about this one a lot. Rain pouring down on you, wet leaves, mystery gunk... cleaning gutters once the rain has started is positively miserable. Not to mention the safety hazard of climbing up on a wet ladder, the fire hazard of dry leaves piling up during wildfire season pre-rains, or the many ways debris in your gutter can damage your home. There's the usual suspects — mold growth and sagging gutters — but neglecting this part of your home can also lead to a wet basement, pests making a cozy home in the debris, or water damage as rain leaks from your roof. Do yourself a favor and knock this one out now while the weather's still nice enough (and before you're stuck paying for repairs!). 

    Pro tip: Cleaning gutters is pretty quick and easy if you follow a few best practices. The Art of Manliness has a good guide: 1.) Use a good pair of work or gardening gloves. They're much more practical than a small trowel. 2.) Use a ladder (no standing on the roof) and follow ladder safety guidelines. 3.) Hook 2 buckets to your ladder — 1 for your tools and 1 for debris. 4.) And flush the gutters with a hose, looking for clogs and leaks.

     


    repair roof

    3. Inspect Roof & Foundation

    What can cause problems for your roof and foundation in fall? Rain! (Noticing a trend here?) Water is one of the biggest hazards for any home. Once it starts seeping in where it's not meant to be — under your roof, into your walls, onto your foundation — you start seeing mold, wood rot, cracks, and other home nightmares. The great news is that these disasters can be avoided with a little preventive maintenance. Your roof and foundation protect your home from above as well as below, making them the first line of defense. You'll want to check each closely for holes, cracks, or anything that could cause either, such as a tree branch piercing your roof or tree roots penetrating your foundation. If you do find breaches on the roof, your best best is to replace the broken shingle or vent. For small cracks in your foundation (too small to insert a dime), you can try a vinyl concrete patch.

     


    4. Give Yard Some TLC

    Rain's not all bad. Fall is one of the best times of the year to give your yard some love. First, put away or cover backyard furniture, then grab your gardening gloves! Start by pruning and trimming bushes and trees. This will help them grow stronger and bigger come springtime. Next, rake the leaves and aerate your lawn. Your roots will grow more deeply, producing a healthier lawn. Ready to plant? Fall is the perfect time to plant cool season vegetables as well as bulbs and wildflowers that bloom in spring. Just check which plants do best in your climate this time of year first. You'd be surprised how much this can vary based on your geography! Still have time or energy left? Let's mulch. It's hands down the best way to protect your landscape from the elements. Happy gardening!

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    Want more tips for taking care of your biggest investment? We have an entire guide dedicated to babying your home year-round. Get the 12-month Bay Area Maintenance Checklist

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    Topics: home maintenance, preventative care

     

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    The AAA House Manager blog offers tips and advice on all things related to home maintenance, including your seasonal to-do-list items and ways to protect your biggest financial investment: your house.

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