Spring may be a great time for cleaning, but fall is the best time for maintenance for the entire home. Use this time to prepare your home so that things aren’t neglected during cold weather.
Applying weather strips to doors and windows, even closing over windows with plastic, will help keep the cold out, saving you in energy costs and comfort. You can also add door sweeps and other products to loose-fitting doors can also keep drafts from affecting your temperature this winter.
Fall is a great time to check all smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and home security systems. Replacing batteries in these systems can keep your family safe this winter. Part of your safety also includes checking expiration dates. Check expiration dates on food in the pantry, cabinets, and refrigerator; check expiration dates on prescription and over-the-counter medications; and check expiration dates on fire extinguishers.
Store Summer Items
Remove window AC units, and cover permanent window units or swamp coolers with insulated wraps to keep cool air out. Pack away summer clothes in durable boxes or bags, and store safely out of the way to prevent fire hazards and rodent infestation.
Your dryer vents should be cleaned of lint and other buildup that can become a fire hazard. You can also have your vents checked for leaks during a professional service appointment. Likewise, if you have a fireplace and chimney system, it’s important to have the it cleaned and inspected before the first fire of the season.
Now is the time to deep clean the kitchen: de-grease the stove and oven, scrub appliances and walls, clean fixtures, replace bulbs, and sanitize trash bins. This is the perfect opportunity to get all the things done that you usually put off until spring cleaning, except it’s especially important during fall to prevent rodents, bugs, and spiders from coming in the house as temperatures drop.
Outdoor Fall Maintenance
Most trees and shrubs should be trimmed during fall months. This is healthiest for the plants themselves, and prevents dead branches from falling during winter storms. If necessary, apply fungicide to trees that are diseased. Rake leaves before snow falls so that new spring growth can thrive in a few months. Use a loose-toothed rake to avoid picking up every single leaf and twig, which are necessary for healthy soil and thriving wildlife.
Roof and Gutter Care
After leaves have fallen, clean the gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris that can hinder water flow and cause a leak. Clogged gutters can also lead to nesting animals. While you’re on the roof, look at the components of the chimney, any vents, and skylights on the roof to insure the flashing is intact.
Take a day to make necessary repairs to the exterior of the house, including replacing shutters, sealing gaps, replacing windows, and boarding up homes. Eaves should also be checked and repaired to avoid leaks. Walkways can also be repaired at this time to avoid fall risks this winter
Shut off outdoor faucets, pools, fountains, and drain hoses. Unplug outdoor appliances, cover summer equipment like that in an outdoor kitchen or patio.
Completing your fall checklist can prevent damages, costs, and danger this winter. Make sure you don’t neglect important care that can keep you safe.