Now that we are officially into fall, there are several home maintenance ideas that can help prepare you and your home for the coolest months. Here are 15 ideas of items to consider addressing before the weather gets too cold! Some of these may be best done by hiring a professional or someone with more experience. Or someone who is comfortable on a ladder if you are not!
Tree and Shrub Maintenance. This is a great time to call out a specialist if you have trees on your property and have them inspected. Have branches trimmed and dead branches removed and cared for early on. Trim shrubs or hire a landscaper to get your lawn ready for winter!
Rake Those Leaves. This certainly is not everyone’s favorite outdoor activity, and the colored leaves sure are pretty! However, it is important to rake them and bag them up so the ground is clear and won’t inhibit spring growth.
Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts. Another unfortunate result of the leaves falling, this one is important so your gutters and downspouts don’t become clogged. Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause damage to your roof and or siding due to pooling water. Best to wait to do this activity after the majority of leaves have fallen.
Inspect the Exterior of Your Home and Make Necessary Repairs. Take a nice walk around your home, looking at the siding, roof, foundation, and windows. If you spot something that looks like it needs repair, make sure to repair it or schedule a professional before the winter weather.
Inspect For and Seal Gaps to Prevent Critters From Entering Your Home. With the colder weathers, lots of critters like to look for a warmer place to nest. Inspect the exterior of your home for any holes (mice only need a very small hole) and gaps and seal and secure to prevent any unwanted visitors.
Inspect Exterior Stairs, Railings and Walkways. Check all exterior spaces to make sure there aren’t any issues that might make navigating your outdoor space more challenging or unsafe in the winter months.
Stock Up on Winter Necessities. Depending on where you live, you might need to inventory your stock of shovels, ice scrapers, ice melt, etc. It’s also a great time to stock up on firewood for cozy winter fires.
Shut Off/Cover Exterior Faucets and Store Hoses Indoors. Help protect your pipes from freezing by shutting off water to your exterior faucets or using faucet covers before the weather gets below freezing. Make sure hoses are drained and store them indoors so they are ready to go in the spring.
Apply Weatherstripping. Want to save money on winter energy bills? Adding weatherstripping to door and window frames helps keep the heat in and thus reduces your energy costs by minimizing the warm air that goes out and cool air that comes in.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Check Your Home For Radon. Fall is a great time to check all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries when needed. It’s also good to check your fire extinguisher and make sure it is up to date and have your home checked for radon to ensure your home is at a safe level.
Clean Out Dryer Vents. Lint builds up over time and can cause your dryer to work less efficiently and could even cause a fire. Fall is a great time to clean out the vent or hire a professional to do so.
Consider A Home Energy Audit. A professional auditor can assess your home’s energy efficiency and make recommendations on how to improve your level of efficiency.
Schedule a Chimney Cleaning Furnace Check-up. It is important to check that your chimney and furnace/boiler are cleaned out and working properly before you need to turn on your heat regularly. Speaking of chimneys, if you have one, check to make sure you have a chimney cap to keep critters from going down your chimney!