Fall is officially here, and with the cooler temps comes the opportunity to make some small improvements to your home that will equal long-term gain.

Think of all the things that annoy you during winter: the roof shingles that need replacing, the loose step in the front walk that you trip over every time…These things can become hazards when the temperature drops and the rain or snow comes in an onslaught. Fall months are a great time to take on some minor maintenance projects that will ensure your home is cozy and comfortable all winter long.

Here are my top 10 Fall Home Improvement Projects:

ONE// Check for peeling paint–this can be a sign that the existing paint can no longer protect your home’s siding. Left untreated, this can lead to much more expensive damage over time.

TWO// Clean the gutters–gutters help keep the inside of your house dry and are an important part of your roof’s drainage system. A clogged gutter or downspout can cause ice dams and a lot of problems in winter months.

THREE// Caulk windows–while this is time-consuming, it can help save your hundreds of dollars this winter. Properly caulked and insulated windows keep the heat in and cold out, meaning you’re not wasting money letting all that heat escape.

FOUR// Power wash–power washing the exterior of your house isn’t just cosmetic. This easily DIY project will prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can grow and fester even in winter months.

FIVE// Repair you roof–when it’s storming outside the last thing you want is for the storm to be inside. The weather can play a number on you roof shingles year-round, causing small gaps or holes that can turn into big disasters. Prevention is key.