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Regular home maintenance can save you money and keep your home looking sharp year-round. You don’t have to wait for spring cleaning season. Inspecting and cleaning your home during the fall makes any household repair easier to manage. Tackle these easy fall maintenance projects to keep your home comfortable and running smoothly inside and out.

Take Care of Your Trees. Trees turn dormant closer to winter time. Now is the best time to prune, not plant, trees in your yard. Remove dead tree limbs. This time of year, your trees are less susceptible to disease and you can avoid falling limbs during a winter storm. You can identify dead limbs if the leaf color changes earlier than expected or if your tree needles start turning brown.

Carefully Examine Your Home Exterior. Once winter hits it will be difficult to repair any outdoor stairs or railing. Make sure your outdoor steps are in good condition to handle any snow or ice. Securing stairways also makes it easy to shovel off snow. Look for general wear and tear around your window frames and doors. If needed, add weather-stripping to keep warm air in and cooler air out during the winter months.

Check Up on Heating Systems. Replace your furnace filter for optimal usage of your heating system during the winter months. A qualified heating professional can inspect your home ducts and heating equipment to prolong the life of your system. If you have a fireplace or chimney, schedule an annual cleaning to prevent chimney fires.

Minimize Winter Water Woes. Pipes freeze or burst during winter. Make sure you know how to locate the water shut-off valve in your home in the event of a deep freeze. Insulate your outdoor pipes and don’t forget to drain outdoor water hoses and store them in a dry place to increase their longevity. Since it is unlikely you will use your outdoor sprinklers during the winter months, drain them or turn them off to prevent damage to your system.

Clean Gutters and Downpours. Debris, leaves and other twigs clog up your gutters and downpours. Without a regular clean up, your home is susceptible to interior or exterior water damage. Another potential risk from unkept gutters are pest infestations. Look carefully at your gutter debris. If you notice grit from the asphalt roof shingles on your home, it may be a sign of roof damage.

If you need the help of a professional and you live in the Rochester or Finger Lakes Region of New York, you’ll find them at FindTheHomePros.com.