Fall is here! With days officially dropping to jacket-weather temperatures, it is time to remember all of the items needed to make your home ready for winter. Let’s make it easy and get ahead of Jack Frost with this fall home maintenance checklist.
Exterior Items
Winterize your grill by giving it one final, deep clean and covering burners and other metal parts with cooking oil to prevent rust. Also, shut off your gas and put a protective cover over the whole unit.
Seal up exterior cracks and gaps in siding, windows or foundation with caulking or weather stripping.
Take advantage of the low humidity weather and paint your home or stain and seal your deck.
Clean your gutters and make sure they are secure.
Bring any glue, liquid weed killer, paints, stains, finishes and spray cans inside so they do not freeze.
Store outdoor decorations and furniture or at least cover it up to extend the life.
Hook up seasonal batteries for boats or small vehicles to a battery maintainer.
Fix any cracks in the driveway to keep moisture from getting in to freeze, expand and make them bigger.
Aerate, fertilize and reseed your yard.
Have your sprinkler system drained and blown out.
Winterize your lawn mower by removing all fuel or filling up the tank and adding fuel conditioner and running it for a couple minutes so it can circulate.
Empty your flower pots and planters. Bring any clay or ceramic containers inside.
Drain all garden hoses and sprinklers and store. Also turn off water to all exterior hose bibs and drain pipes.
Trim back trees and bushes and remove dead branches from to keep them from falling once weighted with heavy snow.
Rake your leaves and shred them for compost, mulch or on top of flower beds as a winter blanket for your garden.
Divide or move perennials and remove any dead annuals.
Mulch perennials after the first hard freeze and do not cover the center point (crown) to avoid rotting.
Clean garden tools before storing.
If you have been feeding birds from your yard, be sure to stock up on bird food to continue feeding them this winter.
Mark the perimeter of your driveway and sidewalk by pounding in driveway markers for easier snow removal.
Get your snowblower ready for service.
Make sure you have a snow shovel that is in good shape.
Grab a bag of pet and plant safe ice melt from the store.
Interior Items
Change the direction your ceiling fans spin so they can circulate the warm air down toward the floor.
Wrap any water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape or insulation to save energy and prevent freezing.
Replace the furnace filter or consider having your HVAC system maintained by a professional.
Remove any window AC units or cover the entire exterior to keep cold air out.
Clean out your dryer vents and remove lint.
Check attic insulation is at the proper level and doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.
Schedule a chimney cleaning.
Have your home tested for radon since windows are shut more in the fall and winter.
Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors.
Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed.