After the dog days of summer have passed and before winter begins to bring chilly weather, it’s a great time to pull out the toolbox and take a look around the home to ensure everything is in proper order and ready for the next season.
Take a look at our simple fall maintenance checklist to prepare your home for the seasons ahead.
Clean Out Gutters
Gutters can become filled with the falling leaves of autumn. Take some time to don your gloves and grab a hose and sprayer. Clogged gutters can damage roofs and lead to leaks and standing water, which can cause corrosion and rust. While you’re at it, inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles.
Get into the Garden
Fall is a great time to remove dead annuals or dig up bulbs to bring inside for the winter. Perennials and trees can be trimmed back to help them better hold up under winter snow. Store garden tools inside for the winter, and clean up leaves that can become slippery when wet.
Winterize Your Home
Look for cracks and gaps around windows and doors, and re-caulk or add weather stripping where necessary. Drafts and gaps can account for up to 10% of winter heating bills. Weather stripping can help lower the costs of heating and reduce drafts during winter, and is an easy and cost-effective way to get the most out of your efforts.
Do a Safety Check
Fall is also a great time to run a routine home safety check. Check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, fire extinguishers, hot water heaters, furnaces, pilot lights, fireplaces, and chimneys, and any other items that can use a yearly review.
Check Your Filters
With more time spent indoors, air filters are an important item to check before the cooler months begin. Clogged filters can make it hard to adequately heat your home, and can cause respiratory issues.
If you haven’t taken the time to ensure you have adequate fresh water, batteries, flashlights, and non-perishable food items in case of a storm or power outage, take inventory now, before an emergency strikes.
With a little diligence and a weekend of free time, you can give your home the proper attention it needs to stand strong all year long. Keep safety and your home’s structural integrity at the top of the priority list for fall home upkeep—but a nice fall wreath and a few pumpkins adorning the front porch couldn’t hurt, either. Have fun!