Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
It would be amazing if all you needed to get your home ready for fall was hang a wreath and light a bunch of pumpkin spice candles. While yes, those are a crucial part of getting ready for the change of seasons, there are more important (and not exactly fun) preparations that come with being a homeowner. Consider this everything you need to know before your house transitions from hot summer days to cool fall nights…and eventually freezing temperatures.
1. Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters.
Real talk: You’re so used to your gutters working properly — and draining thousands of gallons of water from your roof yearly — that you forget they could use a little TLC. If they’re clogged, you can end up with a flooded interior and damaged exterior. So clean them, and if necessary, repair or replace them.
2. Check for drafts.
Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because weatherstripping is simple and probably the most cost-effective way to keep heating costs down.
3. Drain your outdoor faucets.
Drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside spigots to prevent any water freezing. Not doing this can result to pipes bursting, so this is really important! Once temperatures dip to below 0°C consider turning off the water leading to your outdoor faucet as an extra precaution.
4. Bring your outdoor furniture in (or cover it).
Outdoor furniture is meant for the outdoors but it shouldn’t be left outside uncovered in the winter. Fading and other damage will occur, so you should store it in a garage or shed. If you don’t have anywhere to store the items, cover it in with waterproof furniture covers or, as a last resort, a tarp.
5. Fix any cracks in your driveway.
This may seem tedious but leaving cracks in your driveway can turn into a bigger problem. When water gets into cracks it freezes, expands, and can make the crack even bigger. Enough small cracks can turn into big cracks, and eventually the concrete can crumble. Plus potholes could form which everyone knows are not so super to drive on. So, using concrete crack sealer and fill up any cracks you find to prevent bigger problems in the future.
6. Fertilize your lawn.
You know what they say: The best offense is a good defense. If you want to keep your lawn looking great in the spring and summer, prep it for fall and winter. Roots are still active when the grass isn’t growing, so applying fertilizer will prevent winter damage. Doing this will also help your lawn turn green faster in the spring, which is crucial, because who wants to look at a sad lawn once it gets nice out?
7. Change your filters.
This is something in your house that might be costing you more money then it should be. If your filters are clogged, it’s harder to keep your home at the temperature you want it too be which will increase your heating bills. Clean these filters monthly, not just before the fall for optimal results. FYI: Disposable filters can be vacuumed one time before you replace it, and foam filters can just be vacuumed and not replaced.
8. Test winter equipment.
Check that your snowblower and car plug-ins are working before the serious weather hits so you won’t be stuck when you really need them!
9. Change your batteries.
Once a year you should be checking to make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices are working. Change the batteries if they need to be changed and stay safe!