Fall is in full swing, and with that nip in the air, you know winter is on its way. Fall is the perfect time to tackle home maintenance tasks so you’re not caught by surprise in the middle of winter. We’ve compiled some home maintenance tips and a comprehensive checklist to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable this winter.
Chimney & Fireplace
If it’s been a while since your last chimney cleaning, now is a good time to schedule one. Chimneys and fireplaces can cause serious damage to homes if they’re not properly cleaned and maintained. Extensive build-up from creosote can easily ignite. If you are unfamiliar with inspecting a chimney, it may be worth calling in a professional chimney sweep for peace of mind.
Check your Roof
No one wants to be fixing a roof in the middle of winter. Give your roof a once-over to make sure there aren’t any signs of damage. Pay attention to broken or missing shingles, missing flashing and any discoloration.
Gutters & Downspouts
Both gutters and downspouts should get regular cleanings throughout the year but it’s especially important to clean them before winter. Clogged gutters can cause water to spill over them and onto the ground next to the house, this can lead to foundation damage and icy walkways/driveways.
Fuel & Snowblowers
Empty out unused fuel from gas-powered equipment, such as a lawnmower. Sediment can build up and clog the fuel lines. Store gasoline in tanks out of children’s reach and have it ready for use in your snowblower or emergency generator. And be sure to test your snowblower before the first snow hits.
Doors & Windows
Regular wear and tear along with changes in temperature and humidity can cause seals to crack and shrink. Check your windows and doors both inside and out for leaks and drafts. Inspect and repair any loose or damaged frames.Install weather stripping or caulk around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.
Winterize your Outdoor Kitchen
Be sure to drain and shut off water lines that won’t be used and leave your drain valves open to protect lines from freezing water. Take care of your grill with a good cleaning and turn off the gas line if you won’t be using the grill for several months.
Depending on what type of cabinets you have in your outdoor kitchen, your winterizing methods will vary. If you have stainless steel cabinets, coat them with a fresh layer of polish, wood cabinets need to be oiled or sealed to protect them from winter’s harsh temperature and changes in humidity.
Autumn Home Maintenance Checklist:
- Clean and store outdoor grills, furniture, and cushions.
- Winterize your outdoor kitchen.
- Check chimney and roof for cracks and damage.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Rake leaves and shred to use as mulch or dispose of them based on local guidelines.
- Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house.
- Cut and fertilize your lawn.
- Remove hoses from spigots and drain. Store them indoors, coiled and flat.
- Winterize your sprinkler system
- Close or install storm windows.
- Test snow blower and have it serviced if necessary.
- Empty out unused fuel from any gas-powered equipment
- Check Fireplace.
- Clean kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw away outdated food, medicine, cleaning supplies, and cosmetics.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you set clocks back in the fall.
- Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it’s needed.
- Change your furnace filter and consider having it professionally inspected.