Fall Home Maintenance Tips
Fall is a great time to take care of home repair projects before shorter days make outside work more difficult. Here are 12 suggestions to help you rest easy knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter.
1. Prune trees and shrubs to avoid breaking limbs during winter storms. Check trees and shrubs for disease and consider preventative measures to protect your trees and shrubs during the slowing growth of fall and winter dormancy. You’ll be glad you did when your investment in landscaping flourishes next spring.
2. Rake up the leaves – leaves that are blanketing the ground inhibit spring growth. To make the job easier, choose a lightweight rake, wear gloves to protect your hands and those “leaf scoops” do help make bagging leaves more quickly.
3. Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.
4. Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.
5. Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety. When the landscape is covered in ice and snow, just walking from the driveway to the front door can be quite a challenge. Make navigating around your home safer by checking that all stairs are in good shape and have sturdy railings, and that the driveway is in good repair to make for easier shoveling.
6. Stock up on winter supplies. Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers, if needed. Pick up a pet and plant safe bag of ice-melt. Restock emergency kits for your car and home.
7. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.
8. Check weatherstripping around window frames and doors. Boost winter warmth and cut energy costs.
9. Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check expiration dates on fire extinguishers and replace as needed.
10. Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire. Cool, dry fall weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has built up – so now is the time to get the lint out!
11. Deep clean the kitchen. Take a day to tackle some of the more labor-intensive cleaning tasks to keep your kitchen working efficiently and looking great. Degrease the range hood and filter, clean the oven, vacuum the refrigerator coils, clean the light fixtures, wash the backsplash, wash the garbage can, clean small appliances.
12. Schedule a heating system maintenance. Making sure your furnace is cleaned, maintained and in working order before you need to turn on the heat is an important safety measure.