With beautiful fall colors and cooler temperatures in our midst, it can be easy to get caught up in the beauty of the coming holiday seasons and forget about some of the essentials around your home. As a homeowner, you may not have thought about how all of this lively and bustling beauty could wreak havoc on your home.
Not sure how to properly care for your home in the cooler months? Keep reading to learn some simple tricks for keeping your home in top notch shape during the fall and winter.
Clean Your Gutters
While breaking out the ladder on a gorgeous fall day isn’t exactly at the top of anyone’s to do list, ignoring this important chore could lead to chaos later. As the leaves fall, it’s almost inevitable that they’ll build up in your gutters. Failing to clean out stacks of leaves and twigs can prevent water from draining properly. If the water can’t find the downspout due to clogging, it will find another way down. Leaks can spring up from poorly sealed joints, or the trapped water may cause the wood behind your gutters to soak up moisture and begin to rot. If your gutters are sagging, it may be a sign that the weight of tapped water has taken its toll over the years.
Use a steady ladder to clean the gunk out of your gutters. After you’ve completed this step, you’re ready to check the gutters for leaks. Once cracks or leaks have been spotted, make sure the area is completely dry before you attempt to re-seal. There are several fantastic silicone sealants on the market today that work miracles and can restore your gutters to their former glory in minutes.
Finish the job by deep cleaning your gutters. Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve last cleaned them, you may need a pressure washer to do the job. According to roofing experts at Bonner Built, if your home is located in the midst of lots of trees, installing gutter guards will prevent debris from gathering in the first place.
Combat Leaf Stains
A spotless driveway can quickly turn unsightly as a result of the brown stains left behind from leaves. The longer leaves sit on your driveway, the more likely they are to mar the surface with ugly stains, and as unavoidable as this may seem, clearing off concrete areas regularly could prevent this altogether.
If you aren’t able to get to the leaves before they stain, don’t worry, there are very simple solutions for getting the stains out. Water and dish liquid work well for mild discolorations, but if the stains have seeped into the porous concrete, bleach gets out tougher stains and Tri Sodium Phosphate (found at Lowe’s or Home Depot) gets out the toughest of them all.
You’ll have to use a little elbow grease, though, to get out even the smallest stains. Use a scrubbing brush along with any of the treatments listed above to return your concrete areas to their previous state.
Prevent Squirrel Infestation
Did you know squirrels have the biting power of 22,000 pounds per square inch? Squirrels have pretty powerful teeth, and given the magnitude of their strength, they could decide to chew their way into your cozy attic this fall and make a home for the winter. If you don’t want squirrels scurrying around above you, pay attention to these suggestions.
Preventative measures can be taken to make sure all potential in-roads are sealed, but if you’ve already heard some of these uninvited little squirrels moving around above you, its time to take more action.
Observe their habits—while they’re gone for the day, seal all holes but one. Some good options for this trick are stainless steel mesh, or sheet metal—stuff the critters can’t chew through.
In the meantime, check for babies. This will involve you going into your attic and searching for signs of a nest. If you find that babies are involved, it’s a good idea to let them stay in your house for the duration until they are able to get out on their own.
Only after you are positive that all of the squirrels are out of the house should you seal up the last hole. If you trap one in, it will certainly try to chew a new way out. If you’ve done this and you still hear squirrels in your attic, they’ve probably chewed through your defense tactics and it may be time to enlist the help of a pest professional.