Search This Blog

Fall Maintenance, Make it a Ritual

By Gates Dearen

It’s almost fall and time to roll the clock back and hour for Daylight Savings Time.

Since it's approaching fall, I want to touch base on the subject of regular prevention. That is, keeping your house in order using some easy preventative maintenance. However, instead of talking about spring cleaning, I want to talk about preventing fallout in the fall. What I mean by fallout is keeping little problems from becoming big problems by just doing a small amount of fall maintenance on your gutters, shaded exterior walls, and, of course, all your windows and doors.

window, main room - 0 - scraping (20110614) (I...
 (Photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Let’s start by cleaning out your gutters. Removing all the leaves and other trash that may plug them up allows your gutter to do the job of keeping excess water away from your walls, windows and foundation. I do this every quarter just to be sure.

Next, I tackle the job of removing any possible mildew that has built up over time in an area where the house gets a lot of shade. I like using a product called “Awesome Cleaner” that can be had at most dollar stores but you can also find commercial products that do a good job of removing mold, algae and fungus at any DIY store. To remove any dirt or mildew that is up high and out of reach I use my pressure washer set on low along with the awesome cleaner. This makes my job quick and easy.
I then go around the entire house and check all the doors and window openings for cracked, loose or missing caulking. If I find any, I use my putty knife to clean out the damaged caulking and then re-caulk the area with fresh caulk.

I follow my caulking inspection routine with an inside inspection of all the windows and doors by testing all of them for proper operation. I check to make sure the windows and doors open and close properly. I look for worn seals, squeaky movements, rough or stuck operation, etc. If I find a problem, I correct it with oil, replacing a seal or making the proper adjustments to the hinges.

My next step is to check all the windows and doors for drafts with my lit candle test. I talked about this in a previous article called Three ways to know when you need new windows.  It is a simple test but it is very effective.

When I'm cleaning windows...
When I'm cleaning windows ... (Photo credit: horrigans)
Once I have done this, I clean all the windows and doors so they look crystal clear and beautiful. This provides me with the best views when looking out my windows. I have found this little routine saves time and money. By doing it each season or at least in the spring and fall, you will find that you never have to deal with any big problems. Also by doing this maintenance regularly, you will have less work and it will also get done more quickly. Best of all, it saves money on my energy bill and helps make my windows and doors last longer.

In this article, I discussed a seasonal maintenance ritual that saves time and money by keeping your home (especially the windows and door opens) in perfect working order. If you found this article useful, pass it on to a friend. If you have a comment, please leave it in the Comments section below. I have enjoyed sharing this seasonal maintenance tip with you. Until next time, enjoy your beautiful home.

Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Door in Jacksonville Florida.  Owners Gates Dearen and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They know the products, the industry, the market and what adds great value to a home.  Their approach is a little different. They're simply looking to match the home owner with the right windows for their home and   budget.  Home improvements are enough of a hassle ― they’re here to make life easier with first-rate, energy efficient products, affordable prices, installers that know best practices and who have respect for your home.

 Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Everyone talks about Spring Cleaning. But you need to perform routine maintenance on your home a number of times every year if you want to save money.

  2. Routine maintenance is the key to prevention.

  3. Thanks for the tips. I know I should clean out my gutters but something always seems to come up when I go to do it...

    I think I need to create a home maintenance check list that I need to follow. You are right you have to make it into a RICHual or you will lose $$$.

  4. I will be doing my fall maintenance this weekend. Thanks for the tips.

  5. Routine maintenance really is key to avoiding huge problems and big bills!

  6. Money is like water. No one misses it until it's gone. A little TLC a couple of times a year can save you a lot of $$$.

  7. Thank you for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article
    Windows For House
    Windows And Doors Phoenix
    Sliding Window Replacement