Winter Prep: Fall Home Maintenance Checklist |

Winter is the last thing you want to think about when you’re preparing to enjoy fall. Still, autumn home maintenance is all about preparing for the harsh cold season. Check out this fall home maintenance checklist to figure out what to do before winter arrives.

Clean Your Gutters

Once all the leaves have fallen from your trees, clear your gutters of any debris that has built up. In the winter, water may get stuck in the gutters and freeze, forming what’s known as an ice dam. When water freezes, it expands and may break or bend your gutters.

To flush out leaves and twigs, use a hose with good pressure. If you need something stronger, gently push a spatula or putty knife against the edges of the gutter to remove caked-on gunk. Finally, tighten any loose bolts and brackets and replace any damaged gutter pieces.

Drain Garden Hoses

Remove garden hoses from faucets as soon as you don’t need them anymore. You might want to do this early in the season to avoid a cold snap, or you may not want to put them away until the ground freezes. For example, if you choose to fertilize in the fall, you’ll need water for that.

Drain and store the hoses to prevent water from freezing inside. If that happens, the water may expand inside, which could cause damage. Don’t forget to drain your sprinklers as well. You can prevent damage to your irrigation system by shutting off the water and opening the drain valves before winter hits.

Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney

In most cases, you should clean your chimney after about 50 burns. Hire a professional chimney sweep if you see a great deal of debris built up. Chimneys clogged with creosote soot can cause fires; call an expert to ensure your home is safe.

While you’re looking up inside your chimney for dirt, check to see how well the damper opens and closes. It should be free of nests and anything else an animal might have left behind.

Change Filters

Changing your furnace filter helps the system run better. In addition to changing your filter before the start of the cold season, you may need to change it throughout the season as well, depending on your system.

Seal Holes and Cracks

Inspect your windows, doors, roof, and siding for holes and cracks. This sort of damage leaves your home vulnerable to water damage and drafts. When your home isn’t sealed, it loses energy. Especially in the winter, you’ll notice an increase in your energy bill if your home is losing heat through cracks. In addition to rising costs, you may also notice drafts, snow melting on your roof in patches, or signs of water damage on your interior walls.

Create a fall home maintenance checklist that helps you figure out what to do before winter in your area. Not all homes are the same, and weather changes by region. Furthermore, you should have a second maintenance checklist to keep your home looking great all year. Don’t neglect to inspect the interior of your home, and hire professionals to repair major damage.

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