Follow these tips on getting your home ready for the cold months ahead. Plus, grab a free printable fall home maintenance checklist at the end of the post!
Cold weather is on its way, and from what I understand it’s supposed to be pretty cold this winter here in Virginia.
Preparing your home before the winter season is super important. It’s too hard to do maintenance on your home in the snow and ice or during freezing cold temperatures.
You don’t want to wait until the last minute to fix your heat when it’s below freezing outside!
Check off your list this year with this fall home maintenance checklist!
Plus, grab your free printable fall home maintenance checklist at the end of the post.
Fall Home Maintenace Checklist
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Outside Home Maintenance
- Trim trees: Trimming the dead part out of trees can prevent falling limbs and branches.
- Rake the leaves: Too many leaves covering the ground during snowy weather can prevent growth in the spring. And who doesn’t love to jump into a huge leaf pile?
- Clean the gutters: Clogged gutters can cause pooling water to damage your roof, or cause leaks in the basement. Clean out the gutters once all the leaves have fallen from nearby trees.
- Examine the exterior: Walk around your home and check for any signs of damage to the foundation, siding, or roof. Repair anything as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Also, make sure any steps, railings, and walkways are free of damage before winter. Check the driveway to make sure it’s in good condition to make shoveling snow easier.
- Turn off exterior faucets: Shut off any exterior faucets before the temperatures drop below freezing to prevent frozen pipes. Drain water hoses and put them away for the season.
- Add weatherstripping: If needed, add weatherstripping around doors and windows to keep the warmth in and cut energy costs.
- Check the pool cover: If you have a pool, make sure to check the cover for damage. Replace if necessary.
- Fill the bird feeders: Make sure bird feeders are full and not cracked or damaged.
- Empty planters: Don’t leave any soil in flower pots and planters when it’s cold outside. The dirt will freeze causing the pots to crack if they’re left outside.
- Protect outdoor furniture: If you can, place your outdoor furniture in a shed or garage to keep it protected. If you don’t have space, cover it with a waterproof furniture cover. Make sure to clean the furniture before you put it away to save you from having to do it when you get it back out in the spring.
- Fertilize the lawn: Prepare for a healthy lawn in the spring and summer by fertilizing it in the fall. Even though the grass isn’t growing, the roots are still active. Applying fertilizer will prevent any damage from winter, plus it will help your lawn turn greener faster in the spring.
- Clean the mower: Clean grass and dirt from the mower and store it away for the winter. Also, if there’s still gas in the tank, you’ll need to add fuel stabilizer to keep it from deteriorating. Or, just run all of the gas out of the mower before storing it.
- Test the snow blower: If you have a snow blower, make sure it’s in working order and you have backup fuel.
Inside Home Maintenance
- Get the chimney cleaned: Make sure your chimney is cleaned and in proper working order so you can stay safe this winter. If you don’t have a chimney cap – get one to keep those critters out!
- Check the heating system: Make sure your furnace is working properly so you stay safe and warm during those cold days and nights. Also, remember to change the filter.
- Remove A/C window units: Remove any A/C window units if you have them before it starts getting cold. However, if you have to leave them in, cover the entire outside part of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep the cold air out.
- Clean dryer vents: Lint buildup in the dryer can cause the appliance to not work as well and may even cause a fire. Cool, dry weather increases the amount of static electricity, which can easily and quickly catch built-up lint on fire. Click here to learn how to properly clean your dryer.
- Deep clean the kitchen: Deep cleaning isn’t just for Spring! To keep your kitchen running smoothly, tackle these tasks in the fall:
- Clean the oven
- Clean small appliances
- Scrub garbage cans and recycling bins
- Clean light fixtures
- Vacuum refrigerator coils
- Degrease the range hood and filter
- Scrub tile grout
- Wash the wall and backsplash
- Check safety devices: Keep your home and family safe by checking all safety devices during the fall season. Here’s a list of devices to check:
- Check the expiration date on fire extinguishers and replace if needed
- Test smoke detectors; replace batteries
- Test carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries if needed
- Have your home checked for radon. If your home does have radon, hire someone qualified in fixing radon issues.
- Stock up on winter supplies: Fall is the time to stock up before cold, snowy weather arrives. Don’t wait until the last minute! Make sure you have these items:
- Snow shovels
- Ice scrapers
- Bag of ice melt
- Car and home emergency kits
- Wood for the fireplace
- Extra batteries and flashlights
- Emergency Candles
- Change ceiling fan direction: Changing the direction of your ceiling fan creates an upward draft that sends warm air from the ceiling out into the room.
- Check basement windows: Make sure there are no loose frames, cracked panes, or drafts coming from basement windows.
- Clean the humidifiers: If you use a humidifier during the cold, dry months, make sure to keep them clean. Bacteria and spores can grow in an unclean water tank, which then mists back into your room making you sick.
- Vacuum heaters: Clear away dust from radiators, baseboard heaters, and heating grates.
- Conduct an energy audit: Make sure your home isn’t losing any energy by hiring a professional to conduct an energy audit. You can also do one yourself with a self-assessment. For instructions, visit Energy.gov.
Which fall home maintenance chores do you need to get done before winter? Which do you hate doing the most?
Grab your FREE printable home maintenance checklist here!