Fall Checklist

photo courtesy of midwestliving.com

The leaves are starting to change and fall is coming, which means it is time to think about fall home maintenance. A little checkup now can make a big difference over the winter, so take the long weekend and make sure that your house is ready for the change of seasons.

Doors and Windows

  • Inspect your door’s weather-stripping and sills. Do your doors close tightly? Is the weather-strip torn or missing? Weather-stripping and sills help to seal small gaps, keeping moisture and cold air outside and warm air inside. If either need replacements, check with your local lumber dealer for the new, easy to install options to help seal up your entryways.
  • Check caulk around windows and doors. Proper caulking helps prevent leaks and keep energy costs down; over time caulk will chip, crack, and gap so you should be sure to inspect doors and windows at least once per year. Re-caulking as needed will help protect your energy bill as well as the longevity of your doors and windows
  • Wash exterior windows and door glass. Using a household glass cleaner (be sure not to spray this on finished doors as it may mar the finish), or one squirt of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle filled with water, and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. It is best to clean windows on a cloudy day when it is easier to see spots and streaks.
  • Check the paint and finish. This is especially important if you have a wood door, deck, or railing as wood needs to be refinished and cared for each year in order to keep its appearance and durability. But no matter what type of door you have you want to be sure to look it over – Does the paint or stain need to be touched up? Do there appear to be any leaks or gaps?

Lawn and Garden

  • Rake up the yard. Unraked leaves can get matted down over the grass and smother it all winter long. Raking will help prevent dead patches in the spring.
  • Plants shrubs and trees. If you are thinking about adding shrubbery to your landscaping early Fall is a great time to do so. Planting in early Fall allows plants enough time to establish roots before winter hits.
  • Clean out your equipment. You’ll want to clean all the dirt, leaves and debris from the lawn mower to prepare it for winter. It is also a good idea to drain watering equipment (especially hoses and sprinklers) and find a dry place to store them to prevent damage caused by winter freezing.

Roof, Siding and Gutters

  • Check the gutters. Leaves and debris can build up in your gutters preventing them from working properly. And if you leave them clogged into winter ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof. Do a visual check to make sure your gutters are clean and clear and think about installs mesh lead shields for further protection.
  • Inspect your roof. Get on top of roof problems. You’ll want to be sure to check your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents. Fixing problems like these in the Fall will help to prevent further damage throughout the winter and may save you from having to replace the whole roof in the Spring.

Others…

  • Check your fire alarms. This should be done every 6 months to Spring and Fall are the perfect times.
  • Replace filters. You should check, clean or replace your air filter, dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans this time to ensure appliances are running properly and ensure you can keep energy costs down.
  • Winterize you air conditioner. As the temperature drops you’ll want to clean and winterize your air conditioner so that it will be ready to go next Summer when you need it.
  • Check (or install) carbon monoxide detectors. During winter heating months it is especially important to ensure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
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