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Dog and kid playing with toy rakes in the backyard Dog and kid playing with toy rakes in the backyard

5 outdoor maintenance tasks for fall

Published on September 24, 2019

For homeowners, every season has its share of chores. When the days get shorter, it’s time to prepare the lot and the building to face the winter. Here are the most important tasks to get done before the first snow.

To make sure you don’t forget anything, we recommend creating a home maintenance notebook, in which you can keep track of all the chores to do every fall. Regular maintenance will help protect your property from damage caused by weather and time.

Contents:

1. Put away summer furniture and accessories

It’s time to store patio furniture, kids’ toys, pool accessories and the barbecue. Put away gardening items, tools and seasonal decorations.

Use the opportunity to remove everything from your balcony or patio and clean any dirt that may have accumulated over the summer. Keeping these areas clear will make snow removal and maintenance easier all winter long.

2. Prepare the garden and yard for winter

If you have a yard or a vegetable garden, here are the steps to take.

Caring for your vegetable garden

Even in autumn, a garden can have appeal. It may keep producing berries or fruit, and leaves. Fall is also the time for planting bulbs, like garlic and tulips.

Some prefer to keep the vegetable garden as is, while others clear everything out. It’s generally recommended that stakes and dead annuals be removed to keep the area clean and to prevent soil contamination for the following year.

However, the big clean-up can wait until spring, when most of the debris has decomposed under the snow.

How to close down the garden for winter: To get advice specific to your garden, consult a horticulturist or landscaper.

What to do with dead leaves

It’s a question that sparks endless debate. Your neighbour on the right puts them in bags, which go to the municipal composting centre, while your left-hand-side neighbour leaves them on the lawn. Ultimately, both approaches are good.

It’s true that the nutrients from the leaves enrich the soil and create an insulating barrier during winter. But too many leaves will cut off the air supply and strangle your lawn. If your trees produce very large leaves, the recommendation is to shred the leaves with the lawn mower and then spread any extra on your flower and vegetable gardens (up to 10 cm thick). It’s best not to leave the soil in your vegetable garden bare during the cold season.

To level up your yard maintenance, think about sweeping the path to the shed, the entrance and the deck whenever you have guests.

Person picking up fall leaves in the yard

Protection from snow

Give perennials and trees the care they need. Some can be tied up or covered to prevent damage from the weight of the snow. Make sure everything is secured for the winter.

Safety and comfort

While you’re installing your car port (if you have one), why not add non-skid strips on your front steps? It’s a small gesture everyone will appreciate!

3. Wash the house exterior

Washing the exterior of your home is a good habit to adopt. It will not only prevent dirt from accumulating over the years, it will also allow you to detect any problems faster.

Use a broom to sweep away cobwebs. Cut away ivy or plants climbing on your house. Clean all the cladding.

And don’t forget to shut off the water supply to exterior faucets and put away the hose to avoid unpleasant surprises in spring.

Seal doors and windows

Don’t wait for it to get cold before cleaning the outsides of your windows and doors. If need be, add weather stripping or caulking to prevent air infiltrations. And while you’re at it, consider installing plastic film indoors. They’ll not only improve your home’s energy efficiency, they’ll also protect your windows from condensation.

Need help for your caulking work? Try ProAssistance!

4. Inspect the roof, gutters and foundation

A regular inspection of the roof and eavestroughs is an important job that’s often overlooked. Just remove the debris and make sure water flows well. That’s all there is to it!

Take a look at the foundation on every side of the building to make sure it’s still in good condition. Take note of any suspicious colouring, water accumulation, holes or cracks.

Person cleaning the gutters of their house

5. Maintain the chimney

If the chimney wasn’t cleaned in the spring, it’s critical that you do it before you light your first fire of the year. The government recommends you get your heating system inspected and cleaned by a professional every year .

There are also some maintenance checks you must be disciplined about performing: Make sure the chimney doesn’t have any debris in it and that the joints are intact. There should be no visible rust. Also keep an eye out for cracks in the door seal or in the firebricks inside your wood-burning fireplace.

As for sweeping, follow your municipal regulations. While it is possible to sweep the chimney yourself, the job requires the right tools and great care. A poorly done job can lead to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Regardless of what type of heating system you use (wood, gas, oil), regular maintenance is the key to staying safe.

Man cleaning the chimney from the roof of a house

A home that’s treated with care

The time spent on seasonal clean-up will make a big difference in your home’s appearance, both in the short term and over time. If you’re going to put your home up for sale, don’t skimp on the outdoor work! Even if the leaves are falling and the days are getting shorter, the house and lot must look good for potential buyers.

List of 5 outdoor maintenance tasks for fall

“Remember that a well-maintained property inspires your visitors’ trust,” says real estate coach at DuProprio. “The same applies to landscaping. Your yard has to be maintained according to the season.”

Fall is a good season for selling. To sell your home commission-free and benefit from the advice of the DuProprio team, call us at 1-866-387-7677.

Planning to sell? We can help you! Watch our video.