(CONSUMER REPORTS/WTVF) — Fall is the perfect time to take care of necessary home repairs that may have slipped through the cracks over the summer but should definitely be addressed before winter.
There are all sorts of fall chores you really can't afford to ignore, and you can start outside with your lawn.
Ashley Retigliano moved from an apartment to her first house a month ago. “It's exciting but it's a lot of work,” said Retigliano. “We do have a pretty large property that needs a decent amount of maintenance, but definitely needs a lot more work.”
Consumer Reports says that some chores can save you money in the long run.
Starting with your lawn — to avoid paying to patch your lawn in the spring, Consumer Reports suggests you avoid leaving matted leaves on the grass.
“Using your lawn mower’s mulching mode to return nutritious bits of leaves and grass back into the soil, plus it saves your back from raking,” said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports Home Editor.
You’ll also save money on leaf bags.
Unfortunately leaves don’t just fall on your yard — leaves, sticks and other debris can clutter gutters, causing rain to overflow and pool around your home’s foundation, and even seep inside.
The safest way to clear gutters is from the ground, using a wand extension for your hose, or even an attachment for your leaf blower or wet vac. Never go onto the roof to clean your gutters.
And to protect your foundation, make sure your gutters drain at least five feet from the house.
Then take some time to inspect your roof. Use binoculars to look for shingles that appear cracked or curled.
Small leaks can damage the wood sheathing and rafters and damage your home’s interior — consulting a professional can save you money down the line.
“A pro can inspect the flashing around your chimney and any skylights, and catch any leaks before they get worse,” said Hope.
And finally, don’t forget to close your hoses to avoid the risk of bursting a pipe in sudden freezing weather. Shut off inside valves, then drain any leftover water from the outside spigots.
And once you're done outside, you can move inside and replace your furnace filters. Dirty air filters restrict the air flow in your home and make your system work harder, which can lead to expensive repairs down the road.