Fall is the best! It’s time for cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and long walks through crunchy leaves. However, we have to put down the PSL’s and focus on the less glamorous but very necessary aspect of fall/winter: home maintenance.
Why is fall and winter home prep so important? Imagine a home that isn’t properly prepared for the colder months. Drafty windows, a heating system with an attitude, and clogged gutters can turn the winter season from wonderland to wondering why the universe is against you. More than that, it can lead to expensive repairs and energy bills that send shivers down your spine.
Stay comfortable, safe, and energy-efficient during the colder months with our checklist of home maintenance tasks to tackle before winter arrives:
Inspect and Clean Gutters: Remove leaves and debris to prevent clogs and water damage.
Check Roof: Nothing sucks the fun out of the holiday season like an untimely leak, so spend some time looking for damaged or missing shingles and repairing or replacing them as needed.
Seal Cracks and Gaps: Use caulking or weather stripping to seal gaps around doors, windows, and siding to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Inspect and Clean Chimney and Fireplace: Ensure they are safe and functional, and clean the chimney if necessary. If you have a wood stove, check that too.
Trim Trees and Branches: Trim back branches that could potentially damage your home during winter storms, and make sure to head back out and check for fallen branches or widowmakers after each storm.
Store Outdoor Furniture: Protect your outdoor furniture from winter weather by storing it indoors or using covers. No one likes mildew!
Check Heating System: Have your heating system serviced by a professional, replace filters, and ensure it’s in good working order.
Change the direction of your ceiling fans: check the owner’s manual, your fan direction in winter needs to be clockwise to create an updraft and circulate warm air around the room.
Inspect Insulation: Check attic and wall insulation for gaps or damage, and repair or replace as needed.
Seal Air Leaks: Seal any gaps or cracks in walls, ceilings, windows, doors and floors to improve energy efficiency.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Replace batteries and ensure they work correctly.
Clean and Service Furnace or Boiler: Clean or replace filters and schedule a professional service if necessary.
Winterize Plumbing: Insulate exposed pipes and disconnect outdoor hoses to prevent freezing.
Check Windows and Doors: Replace weather stripping and repair or replace damaged windows and doors.
Stock Emergency Supplies: Prepare for power outages with flashlights, batteries, candles, and non-perishable food items.
Fire Safety: Ensure you have working fire extinguishers and that everyone in the household knows how to use them.
Generator Maintenance: If you have a backup generator, ensure it’s in good working order and has enough fuel. If you don’t have one yet, consider investing in case of power outages.
Outdoor Fall/Winter Home Maintenance Tasks:
Winterize Lawn Equipment: Clean and store lawnmowers, trimmers, and other outdoor equipment.
Drain Sprinkler Systems: Ensure your irrigation system is properly drained to prevent freezing.
Clear Outdoor Vents: Remove debris from outdoor vents for heating systems to maintain proper airflow.
Sidewalk and Driveway Maintenance: Repair any cracks or damage to prevent slipping hazards.
Optional Winter Additions:
Install Storm Windows and Doors: If you have them, install storm windows and doors for added insulation.
Insulate Water Heater and Pipes: Wrap your water heater and exposed pipes with insulation to conserve energy.
Program Thermostat: Set your thermostat to an energy-saving schedule to optimize heating.
Prepare Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit with blankets, non-perishable food, water, and essential supplies in case of extended power outages.
Professional Inspection: Consider hiring a professional home inspector to identify any hidden issues.
Decorate: Now that you’ve completed your seasonal safety preparations, it’s time for the fun part. Light up your nights with Christmas lights and other holiday decorations!