Your Fall Home Exterior Checklist

The leaves drop, nighttime temperatures sink … and this grand, glorious season of fall marches on.

There’s plenty to keep a homeowner busy. Fall planting and fall cleanup can easily soak up several weekends of work. One lays the groundwork for renewed growth in spring; the other, to ensure that winter’s wrath doesn’t decimate what’s in the ground.

Eventually, these tasks come to an end. Or, perhaps you just need a break. Never fear – your home’s exterior also needs attention before fall completely slips away.

The tasks are many. This checklist covers the “must-dos” of fall home exterior maintenance in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI.

If you’re unable to tackle these, contact GMS for a helping hand to get your home ready for what’s ahead:

  • Gutters: Cleaning leaves and debris from gutters might be a no-brainer. Yet, walk around a neighborhood and observe how many homes’ gutters are completely filled. Some even have plants growing in them. Ignore this at your own risk. Blocked gutters lead to winter ice dams, which can seriously damage a home. Granted, cleaning gutters is not fun, between climbing ladders and scooping out sometimes rotting material. Yet, it’s an absolute must-do for fall. Don’t just clean once, either. Check back (at least once), especially after leaves cease falling.

Gutter cleaning in Brookfield and Elm Grove, WI

  • Downspout extensions: Are extensions firmly attached to the gutter downspouts? If not, drill screws into the downspout to hold them, or set bricks on the extension as anchors. An extension knocked or fallen off can allow water to pool and freeze right next to a home’s foundation – bad news all around.
  • Outdoor water spigots: Drain every drop of water possible to prevent frozen pipes. Start by closing shutoff valves inside the home. Next, open the outdoor spigots to drain excess water. Don’t be impatient – let the water run until it stops.

Fall exterior maintenance in Brookfield, WI

  • Hoses: Remove from outdoor faucets and drain any lingering water. Store in a covered, protected space. It’s worth doing. Good hoses aren’t cheap.
  • “Crack”-ing up: Inspect for cracks in your home’s foundation or elsewhere. Seal with caulk or expanding foam. Even small cracks let in cold air. They also invite unwanted guests – mice can sneak in openings as narrow as a quarter-inch.
  • Lawn equipment: Drain gas from lawn mowers and power equipment. While you’re at it, check the lawn mower’s underside and remove caked-on grass. If you’re storing gas for the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to keep it fresh.
  • Driveway markers: No one looks forward to snow-covered driveways (except perhaps snow plowing services). Still, get markers in the ground before it freezes. Don’t forget to mark potential hazards to drivers: ditches, well caps, water caps, sewer covers, fire hydrants and raised culverts.

The jobs on this list fall under the definition of “proactive.” A bit of attention can stave off a multitude of problems later.

The cold season is ahead, like it or not. We can’t stop it. We can, however, prepare. Chances are, you’d rather work outside now, rather than in a few months.

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