Temperatures are dipping. Leaves are falling. Everyone is getting ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap. But before you get too comfortable with your hot apple cider, there are a few things still left to take care of outside. It’s time to do the autumn maintenance.
This checklist of fall home maintenance items will help you get everything ready for the coming ice and snow while it’s still pleasant outside. Pick a sunny October Saturday and head outside one last time.
√ Seal Up the Cracks
Cold air and water will find their way inside, wreaking havoc on your comfort and heating bill. Once temperatures hit freezing, cracks will only widen.
• Start by checking the foundation and schedule any repairs right away
• Caulk around windows and doors to keep heat in
• Check for chipping paint that might not protect the siding when spring thaw hits
√ Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Blocked gutters and downspouts lead to ice dams, icicles, and a general mess.
• Rent a leaf vacuum to make the job easy
• Flush with water to make sure everything is clear
• Check that joints don’t leak
• Install covered gutters to avoid this job in the future
√ Inspect the Roof
While you are cleaning out the gutters, take a moment to inspect the roof.
• Make sure no shingles are missing
• Ensure shingles are in good shape so that the ice and cold will stay out
√ Get the Furnace and Fireplace Serviced
You’ll be glad you got this one checked off your list when that first cold snap hits and you have heat without any hitches.
• Replace filters
• Call your HVAC guy to winterize the AC
• Ask your servicer to give a general checkup to the furnace to make sure everything is working
√ Seal the Driveway
You know all those pot holes that develop in the roads all winter long? The same thing is happening to your driveway on a smaller scale. Cement withstands the winter a bit better than asphalt, but sealing is a great way to protect either.
• Repair chips or cracks
• Seal to protect driveway from ice that might make cracks and chips bigger
√ Winterize the Porch/Patio/Deck
Get your outdoor living spaces ready for winter so they’ll be in good shape when you’re ready for that first bar-b-que of the summer.
• Clean the porch and deck furniture thoroughly
• Cover or stow furniture for the winter
• Give the grill a good scrubbing and cover
√ Organize the Garage
Don’t wait until spring cleaning rolls around! Your garage can use a little overhaul at least twice a year.
• Clean and store summer garden tools
• Drain gasoline from the lawnmower etc. and put away
• Get out the snow clearing tools and make sure they are ready for the season
√ Drain Garden Hoses
Any hose or faucet with water left in it is at risk for freezing, which can lead to bursting or leaky pipes.
• Drain hoses and store
• Drain outside faucets and make sure they are turned off completely
• Run air through your sprinkling system to ensure no water remains
√ Rake Leaves and Plant for Spring
If it snows on those fallen leaves you know you’ll have a mess to clean up in the spring. Get the yard ready now for early spring seedlings.
• Reseed bare patches in the lawn
• Plant spring bulbs
• Rent a leaf blower to make the job faster and easier
√ Check Outdoor Lighting
A lot of long winter nights are just on the horizon. Ready your lighting now so you won’t be in the dark.
• Replace all light bulbs
• Fix any faulty wiring
• Clean lighting fixtures
• Place Christmas lights now while it’s still pleasant and dry