If you are looking for tips to get your home ready for fall, I have a checklist that will ensure you are prepared for the cold, winter season!
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Sometimes running a household seems like a full time job. Frankly, it is! Often, knowing how to take care of all the things and where to begin is the biggest part of the battle.
If your aren’t even sure where to start as you are thinking of preparing your home for winter, scan this checklist for tips to get started:
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Remove any debris from the roof and replace shingles as needed
- Pick up leaves
- Caulk around windows and doors
- Winterize your sprinkler system
- Ensure outdoor faucets are completely shut off and bring in hoses to store over the winter months
- Inspect, clean and replace (if needed) storm windows
- Schedule any needed maintenance on your heating system
- Change furnace filters
- Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
- Update your supply of winter items (i.e., think shovel, ice scraper, salt, etc.)
- Clean / sweep chimney
Fall Home Maintenance To-Do List
Getting your entire home, specifically the exterior, ready for cold, blustery temperatures can be daunting. Try tackling a little at a time. Yearly household maintenance can ensure your home can endure the elements, so it’s certainly worth your efforts!
Let’s dive in!
1. Clean gutters and Downspouts
Try to tackle this project after the last of the leaves (or as close to this time as possible) have fallen.
Cleaning the gutters from leaves and debris will allow precipitation to flow where it is intended…away from your home’s foundation.
Another problem clogged leaves and debris can cause in your gutters is allowing water to pool and eventually freeze in the gutters during winter rains.
This could ruin your gutter system, causing unnecessary repair down the road.
2. Remove any debris from roof, replace shingles as needed
Look for any damaged or missing shingles. If you do not feel comfortable with shingle replacement, you may need to hire someone.
Getting on top of a home is not everyone’s cup of tea (I’m raising my hand for this one!).
3. Pick up leaves
Although fall leaves can look absolutely stunning, they can wreak havoc on your grass.
Piles of leaves can smother your lawn, not allowing proper sunlight for continued growth.
Take the time to rake the leaves off the lawn. Your grass will thank you.
4. Caulk around windows and doors
Make sure you don’t waste money on heating the great outdoors! Spend some time caulking around windows and doors as well as adding weather stripping as needed.
This will keep your home feeling more cozy, but will also save you some cash!
Energy.gov has some great tips for caulking and weatherstripping if you aren’t sure where to start with this project.
5. Winterize sprinklers
If you have inground sprinkler systems, you will definitely want to blow out the pipes for the winter months, or hire someone to help you with this if needed.
Failing to do so could result in frozen, burst pipes over the winter months. This could possibly destroy the sprinkler system.
6. Bring in hoses after draining
You will also want to bring in your exterior hoses for the winter. If you are able, shut off the water to the outdoor faucet.
Then be sure to fully drain your water hoses before storing for the winter. Leaving them outside could result in cracked hoses, which of course would lead to leaking.
7. Inspect, clean, replace storm windows
If you have an older home with poor quality windows, storm windows may be a lesser expensive option (vs. replacing windows) to allow for improved home insulation.
8. Schedule any needed maintenance on heating system
Scheduling an HVAC maintenance prior to jumping into the winter months allows your system to be tested and cleaned for the best, most efficient performance.
This could mean more than just saving money. It’s also a matter of safety, especially if you have a gas heating system.
9. Change furnace filters
This is something to have on the books at least every six months. Changing the furnace filters reduces dust and allergens that are circulating in your home.
We actually change ours every quarter. I pencil the date on my calendar like an appointment so I don’t forget.
If you have pets, an older home, smokers, or a lot of dust in your home you certainly want to stay on top of this for better air quality for you and your family.
10. Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
This is such an important, yet overlooked home maintenance task.
As I mentioned above, just pencil this task into your calendar like an appointment so you don’t forget to do it.
11. Update supply of winter items
Don’t wait until a huge winter snow or ice storm hits to realize you don’t have the proper winter supplies you need.
Take inventory of what you need now and stock up!
I like to keep these items handy in my garage for easy access when the time comes. Since we live in the midwest, we all know the time WILL come!
Related: Garage Organization Ideas
Some winter preparedness items you should consider:
- Heavy duty winter gloves
- Snow shovel and/or
- Snow blower
- Salt / ice melt
- Bag of sand or cat litter
- Ice scraper
- First aid kit
- Warm blankets to keep in the car
- Flashlights (be sure batteries are good and have extra batteries!)
- Plenty of water
Don’t forget to make sure your cars are ready for the winter months, too!
12. Clean / sweep chimney
If you have a wood-burning chimney, schedule yearly maintenance to be certain it is clear of debris, reduce the risk of house fire, and feel more confident about the safety of your family.
Your Home is Now Ready for Fall / Winter!
Grab this easy to follow PDF fall maintenance checklist:
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