Fall Maintenance Checklist
Get Your Home Ready Before Winter Sets In
Fall is the perfect time to tackle some home maintenance as the heat of summer recedes and before the days get shorter. Now’s the time to get a start on winterizing your house, clean up the yard, and do some more seasonal maintenance checks throughout your home.
To help you keep track of all your necessary repairs and tasks, we recommend making a home maintenance checklist of items to consider to help keep your home in shape and functioning at peak efficiency. Here’s some tips on what maintenance to do this fall season.
Tackle Any Outdoor Projects
While the weather is mild and before the first snow falls, it’s time to get out and take care of general home and yard maintenance projects. Summer storms and intense sun and heat can be hard on your yard and home’s exterior. During the cooler days of the fall, you should get outside and inspect your home’s exterior for any needed repairs or cleaning along with prepping your yard for the cold, winter months ahead. We’ve put together some items to include on your outdoor fall maintenance checklist.
- Take care of shrubs and trees by trimming back summer growth and pruning branches to avoid falling limbs in winter storms.
- Wrap shrubs to prevent bending or breakage from accumulated snow.
- Rake up leaves and debris from yard and garden beds.
- Plant flower bulbs for spring. Deer-proof plants with netting and chicken wire.
- Cut and aerate the lawn and fertilize it for the fall.
- Empty all soil from outdoor clay pots and planters. Store them inside a shed or garage to prevent them freezing and cracking during winter storms.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- If needed power wash siding and clean windows.
- Clean and repair window and door screens.
- Make any needed exterior repairs such as replacing caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, exterior outlets, and mechanicals such as gas and/or electrical meters.
- Check siding and roof for any damage and schedule repairs if needed.
- Schedule a chimney cleaning.
- Add weather stripping around the door frames and windows to cut down on cold drafts and cut energy costs.
- Seal any gaps and fill any small holes where mice and small critters can enter looking for a warm place and food to raid.
- Inspect railings, stairs, walkways, and the driveway for cracks, loose pavers, rot, and damage that can be a safety hazard and make any necessary repairs.
- Clean and store gardening tools and equipment.
- Clean and organize garage and/or shed.
- Check condition of shovels and ice scrapers and replace if needed.
- Stock up on winter supplies such as deicer, anti-freeze, and fuel for the snow blower and any portable generators.
- Add a winter driving kit to your trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. It should include a flashlight, jumper cables, car cell phone charger, portable air compressor, emergency flares, duct tape, a basic tool kit, safety absorbent or kitty litter for traction on ice, a foldable shovel, and a first air kit.
- Shut off exterior faucets to protect pipes from freezing during the winter. Remove hoses, drain out excess water, and store them inside your shed or garage.
- Drain your sprinkler system. Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads, shake out any water, then replace them.
- Remove built-up grass clipping residues from the underside and blade of your mower, drain the fuel tank, disconnect the spark plug, and store it for the winter.
- Clean your gas grill, remove the tank, and store it inside your shed or garage. If storing it outside, turn off the tank valve, put the grill in a sheltered area such as a porch, covered deck, etc. and cover it securely with a weather-resistant grill cover.
- Bring your outdoor furniture inside and store it in a garage, shed, or basement. If you don’t have room to store it inside, then cover it with waterproof furniture covers that are secured against wind and weather.
Take Care of Interior Cleaning, Organizing, and Repairs
Once you have checked off all your outdoor maintenance items, it’s time to tackle all the indoor projects in preparation for the busy holiday season ahead. Now is the time to get your heating system primed for the cold weather, prep your hearth for cozy winter nights by a fire, deep clean and declutter your rooms, and refresh your décor with seasonal accents in anticipation for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Here’s some items to put on your interior maintenance checklist.
- If you didn’t inspect your furnace in the spring, check it now and schedule any repairs.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter.
- Remove any window-mount air conditioners and store them away.
- Clean and replace the filter to your central air conditioning system and wrap or cover the outside unit to prevent rust.
- Bleed hot water radiators and clean steam radiator vents.
- Clean your humidifiers regularly during the winter months to control mold and bacteria in the tank.
- Inspect windows for loose frames or cracked panes and repair if necessary.
- Clean inside of windows including tracks, sashes, and screens.
- If desired, switch out curtains and drapes for ones with insulated liners.
- Shampoo or steam clean carpets, area rugs, and upholstery.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries.
- Get your fireplace or wood stove in working order.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fan(s) to create an upward draft to circulate warm air from the ceiling.
- Deep clean and declutter rooms before the holidays.
- Shampoo or steam clean carpets and rugs.
- Pack away summer clothes and bring winter coats, scarfs, hats, and gloves out of storage and organized and ready for use in the closets.
- Change out seasonal home accents and refresh décor. This may include adding new bedding, pillow covers on throw pillows, table linens, bath towels, or decorative accent pieces.
- Put cozy fall touches throughout the house by changing out or adding dried floral arrangements, wreaths, house plants, decorative accents, wall art, and touches of warm, earthy colors.
A little work and preparation will make your home clean, functional, and ready to enjoy in the coming holiday season.
For more helpful information on home maintenance and seasonal updates, check out these articles in our Advice and Ideas section: "Five (Uncommon) Ways to Give Fall a Warm Welcome," "Ways to Make Your Home Holiday Ready", "Christmas Decorating Tips", "How to Make Your Home Guest Ready," and "Quick and Easy Holiday Cocktail Recipes."
Get ready for the fall and winter seasons with our great selection of dorm essentials for the school year, holiday and seasonal products, electric fireplaces, thermostats, space heaters, hydronic baseboard and panel radiators, and electric baseboard heaters.