While ‘spring cleaning’ is a popular time to give your home a little TLC, autumn is also a great time to give your house a tune-up. With winter just around the corner, you need to make sure that your home can withstand the rain, wind and cold that is sure to come knocking on your door. Below are some autumn maintenance recommendations to keep your real estate looking in top condition.
 

Clear your gutters and drains

 
The Bayville home - one with plenty of gutters!For double storey homes like the Bayville, we recommend getting the pros in to help.

With winter coming, you can expect rain. You might not think that clogged gutters are a big deal – the water still falls off the roof. However, overflowing water due to downpipes that are full of leaves and other debris will deteriorate the exterior surfaces of your home and cause water to seep inside. Safely clean out your gutters towards the end of autumn and consider installing a gutter guard to help prevent build up in the future.

If you don’t think this is a job you can do (or want to do!) you can call in the experts to come and clean your gutters and roof. They’ll have all the best gear and safety equipment, so you won’t have to worry. Put your feet up and watch TV inside while they do all the work. Just make sure you book them in time as this is their peak season!
 

Inspect your trees


A tall pine tree in a Metricon backyard.
This Metricon display has a huge tree in the yard - a job for an arborist!

Not only is it going to be rainy over winter, but it’s also going to be windy too. Inspect all your trees – especially those that could damage you or your neighbour’s property if a branch or the tree were to fall. It might not be evident if a tree is sick, dying or dead. It’s a good idea to remove or prune back any branches that hang over your home in autumn.

Again, you can call in an expert arborist for a free quote to see if they think the tree is worth removing.
 

Practise good lawn care

One of Metricon's display homes complete with grass, a pool and a deck.
Autumn is a great time for mulching your lawn

You might have heard the phrase ‘summer bodies are built in winter’ – well, spring lawns are built in autumn. If you want your garden to be the envy of your neighbours come springtime, you have to treat it right in autumn. An all-purpose fertiliser or mulch should do the trick – spread evenly across your lawn and plants to keep them healthy when it gets cold. If you have problems with weeds in summer – especially the nasty bindii – a weed and feed is also a good option as it will keep your grass healthy and help to prevent the unwanted from rearing their ugly head. Whichever product you choose, make sure to read and follow the instructions carefully as you can overdo it with the fertiliser.

While you're out mulching the yard, it's an ideal time to get the rake out and pick up fallen leaves from your garden beds and grass before it gets too heavy. This will let the grass aerate and breathe and promote new growth.
 

Test and clean your heating systems

 
A close up on a fireplace.If you have a fireplace, make sure you check for blockages in the chimney.

It’s probably been a while since you turned on your heater. You don’t want to wait until the start of the cool season and winter months to make sure it works – autumn is the perfect time to give them a quick test run. If you have a split system heater, now is also an excellent time to clean or replace the filter that might have been gathering dust for the last six months.

You can even organise for your heater to be serviced by a professional, which will help to ensure it has a longer lifespan too.
 

Oil your deck

 
An outdoor area with a deck in a Metricon display.
Our highly trafficked displays need lots of love to keep them in tip top condition

Natural materials, such as timber, are affected when exposed to the elements and should be oiled at least twice per year, especially if they have no roof or sail to protect them from the elements. Not only does this help to protect it from rain, but it also ensures that it looks great too! See Metricon’s easy-to-follow steps on how to protect your deck here.
 

Seal cracks and gaps

 
Close up of an old brick wall.Older brick walls need a thorough check to make sure there are no gaps
 
Cracks and gaps account for a lot of the heat that leaves your home, so the time to cover them up is now. Do a thorough exploration of your home to find where these gaps are - both inside and out. You can do the caulking yourself with the right equipment from your local hardware store. Simply locate the gaps and patch them up!

You might even have a draught coming from under your door – the simplest solution is a door snake. These can be picked up cheap from a lot of different retailers like Kmart and Big W.
 

Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


A smoke detector, close up.
You should be testing smoke detectors once a month

Autumn is the best time of year to ensure that your smoke alarms are working, as we start to blast the heaters and fireplaces more frequently. Testing the alarms is simple enough; you can use the end of a broom to hit the test button. Even if the alarm goes off, it might be worthwhile changing the batteries over anyway if you cannot remember the last time they were swapped over.

If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, it might be worth ordering one now. As you seal up all the cracks and draughts in your home, carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a more significant hazard.
 

Tips to get everything completed

 
You may feel that you’ll never get your home maintenance jobs ticked off before winter, so here are some handy tips to make it all happen:
  • Make a list of home maintenance jobs and set yourself a task each week to complete
  • Get the kids involved with the chores
  • Team up with a neighbour to tackle jobs together
  • Know what you’re capable of and hire some help if you need
Most people will avoid doing outside work in the cold weather for obvious reasons, so hopefully, these home maintenance ideas will help you on your way this autumn so that you’re ready for the change in season.