The transition from summer to fall is here, and winter always seems to follow so quickly on their heels. Fall and winter bring inclement and extreme weather that can take its toll on your home. To prevent the need to make repairs during poor weather conditions, Benchmark Services recommends conducting a seasonal home inspection. If you are a member of the Benchmark Maintenance program, call and schedule yours now!

As a transitionary season, fall is a good time to inspect the health and repair of your home, looking for potential issues that may be exacerbated by dampness, cold temperatures, snow, and ice. For instance, a small crack in your driveway in the summer can become much larger and problematic over the months of winter weather.

Some fall maintenance is about aesthetics, some is about managing the budgetary costs of harsher weather conditions. Lawns and landscaping need special care to make sure they weather the winter well, rising strong into spring. Weatherproofing the roof, windows, and heating appliances keeps your home safe and warm. Each of these directly effects your household budget, of course. From HVAC filters to caulking cracks around window and replacing the sweep on your door, every bit of cold air you can keep out helps contain your heating costs and preserve your home through the season.

While some maintenance is easily addressed, other matters might require an expert eye. Here are some project tips from Benchmark Inspectors that property owners can address without a professional home inspection, along with products that we recommend for the best results (keep in mind that as an Amazon Associate I earn commissions from qualifying purchases). Follow these guidelines and put your mind and home at ease.

  • Gutters – Clean out debris and check for leaks that need sealed. While you’re at it, this is a good time to check for granular loss build up in the gutters from the roof. A Orbit 58543 Telescoping Gutter Cleaning Wand can make this job easier and safer.
  • Roof – Inspect from the ground, then use a ladder to identify any obvious issues like missing shingles or damage due to trees. Remember, roof maintenance should be handled annually, and climbing on your roof can be dangerous! If you haven’t had a roof inspection this year, consider ordering a professional roof inspection from Benchmark Roofing – especially if you spot any damage to your roof and shingles!
  • Winterize lawn and landscape – Fertilize your lawn, rake leaves, and care for trees and shrubs. Raking keeps leaves from forming a suffocating layer, reducing water evaporation and leading to fungus, mold, and disease in your grass. Winterizing helps your lawn and ornamental plants weather the harsh winter conditions to come back strong in the spring. We recommend Scott’s Winterguard Fall Weed and Feed for fall lawn treatment.
  • Check walkways/driveways – Examine all surfaces for cracks and trip hazards. Seal cracks as needed and grind or level any trip hazards. What may start out as a small crack in the fall can turn into quite a problem after months of snow and ice. Sealing cracks in your cement driveway is a manageable DIY project using Sashco Concrete Slab Repair Sealant.
  • Check decks – Check rails and stairs for structural safety issues like rot and other damage. A failing decking can be unwelcome surprise financially, but it can also be quite dangerous. Replace rotting boards immediately. Handrails become particularly critical in winter weather. Take the time to tighten up any wiggles to ensure stability when you need it.
  • Make exterior repairs – Walk your property to identify any damage to the siding and foundation of your home. Inspect all window and door frames for any gaps. Caulking is inexpensive and does not require a craftsman’s skill to apply. We recommend DAP 08643 to seal all gaps, cracks, and openings that allow cold air and pests in your home.
  • Blowout sprinklers and outdoor faucets – Disconnect hoses and install hose bib covers – especially if you don’t have frost free valves. Frozen pipes become brittle and break in extreme cold temperatures. A broken pipe or irrigation system can cause serious, costly damage when the water is turned back on in the spring.
  • HVAC – Change filters and have your furnace serviced for proper maintenance and upkeep. Unfortunately, often on the first frigid night of the year when you need it most that you realize your heat isn’t working. You and thousands of neighbors are in the same boat on the same night, and now every HVAC technician is booked out for two weeks. If you keep on top of your winter and fall chores and schedule your HVAC maintenance early though, you’ll be ahead of the rush!
  • Winter equipment – Snow removal is, at its best, exhausting, and if you’re not careful, it can also present a health risk. A slip while snow shoveling can lead to back injuries, bruises and broken bones, even heart attacks. If you feel you’re at risk for any of these, consider hiring for snow removal services, or purchasing a machine from the EGO Snow Blower line.

Benchmark Maintenance program is here to help you prepare your home for the winter. Setup a consultation, today!