As the days get shorter and the cool breeze turns into frost in the mornings, it’s time to get some fall home maintenance checked off your to-do list. Fall is a great time to prep your home for the cold winter and also check in on how things have withstood the summer.
Luckily, fall maintenance can be done in a weekend or two, depending on what needs to be fixed or done, many tasks are free or affordable. With a little handy work, a few garbage bags, some gloves, and a rake, you’ll be ready for winter in no time.
Here’s my fall home maintenance list:
1. Get your yard in tip-top shape
You don’t want to leave a mess for next spring, because melted snow will just make the yard chores that much worse. Prune your trees and shrubs, mow your lawn one last time or two, and rake all the leaves. Get your yard looking its best, you’ll thank yourself next spring.
2. Store your outdoor items
Get your mower, sprinklers, and any lighting or furniture away before the first snowfall comes. By taking the time to do it now, you ensure nothing gets damaged and everything gets put away neatly without a rush. A cover for your air conditioner unit will help protect it from the elements of winter.
3. Check your roof & windows
Grab a ladder and check your roof, making sure everything looks like it’s in good shape. Seal any cracks you find around windows or doors. You don’t want any water getting in and freezing, causing damage.
4. Clean your gutters and down spouts
Fall is when all the leaves and debris are falling, so you definitely want to do one last clean of all your gutters and down spouts so that it’s ready for rain and melting snow. No one wants to get up on a ladder to do this job when it’s cold out!
5. Get your furnace serviced
Before you need to crank the heat, get your furnace appointment done and over with to make sure you’re ready to go when it gets cold.
6. Check and clean your heaters and radiators
Before you turn on the heat, clean off all the dust to avoid any allergies and discomfort from that dust smell that tends to happen when you first turn on the heat. For safety reasons, make sure everything is cleared away from all heating vents and any other covers or vents you have.
7. Check your walkway
If you know your walk-way has a dip in it where water collects (and freezes), or there’s cracks in it or pieces missing, now is the time to fix it. Safety should always come first and a frozen walkway is not something you want to miss. Make sure everything is level and solve any problems you noticed last year while it’s still nice out.
8. Schedule an energy audit
You can get a professional to come into your home and assess how energy efficient your home is. They’ll make recommendations for you, such as a new furnace, appliances, or even just extra insulation or other DIY projects. If you’re wondering how to get a lower energy bill or wondering how to be more eco-friendly, this is a great step to take.
9. Stock up for winter
If you have a wood stove, now is the time to get some wood! If your shovel is looking a little worn, why not get a new one? Now is the time to get the things you need before you need them. Don’t forget the anti-freeze and ground salt. If you have a dog, you may want to consider a salt that’s pet-friendly!
10. Check alarms and clean chimney
Make sure your fire and carbon monoxide alarm is working, and if you use a fireplace or wood stove, make sure the chimney is clean enough for another year.
Caring for your home
Doing some fall maintenance on your home will give you peace of mind as you go into the winter season. You don’t want to spend the holiday months wondering if your roof is holding up or your lawn mower is rusting away in the back yard. Instead, take the time now to prep your home and enjoy the fall and winter stress-free. Doing maintenance now means less work later!