The chilly weather has started to settle in. You might be ready to pack up all of your tools and outdoor projects… but there’s still time to work around the house! In fact, the fall season is the perfect time to prepare your landscaping for the coming cold weather. It’s also a great opportunity to take care of any small repairs or maintenance needed around the outside of your house before the first frost arrives.
We’ve put together this checklist of fall home maintenance ideas to help keep your home in tip-top shape through the cold seasons, AND set you up for success in the spring!
Interior Home Maintenance Checklist
- Schedule an HVAC or heating system inspection. Preventative HVAC maintenance will keep your system running better for longer, and can help prevent problems in the long run.
- If you have a fireplace with a chimney, have it professionally cleaned before you fire it up for the year. This will reduce the risk of a house fire and ensure that it’s safe to operate.
- Check the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace them as needed, and keep spares on hand.
- If you’re using humidifiers to combat dry indoor air, make sure that you clean them regularly. Humidifiers are (you guessed it) humid, which makes them a great breeding ground for mildew, mold, and bacteria.
- Check windows around the house for drafts. If your windows are leaking cold air, install weather stripping to create a tight seal. If the leak is coming from the window frame, re-caulk the connections.
- While you’re inspecting your windows, take the opportunity to clean out your window wells! Check out our article on How to Properly Clean Window Wells for more detailed instructions.
Exterior Home Maintenance Checklist
- Don’t stop mowing! Watering and mowing your lawn as needed will help prepare it for the freezing winter weather. Once daytime temperatures have fallen below 50 degrees, you can put the mower away for the season.
- Before the first hard freeze of the season, Winterize Your Outdoor Faucets and Spigots. This important task only takes a few minutes to perform, but is an absolute MUST to prevent broken or burst water lines outside.
- Also before the first hard freeze, have your sprinkler system blown out. This will prevent your underground sprinkler lines from freezing and bursting over the winter.
- Clean out your rain gutters and downspouts. This is very important to prevent the formation of ice dams, which can cause sitting water on your rooftop. This sitting water can leak down into your walls, causing major water damage. Check out this post on How to Clean Your Rain Gutters for more information.
- While you’re up cleaning your gutters, look for missing, damaged, and loose shingles. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the weather. This means that you want to keep it in proper condition! Without a properly functioning roofing system, water damage can occur. In turn, this can cause damage to insulation, wood, and drywall which leaves your home’s other vital systems, like electrical and plumbing, vulnerable to the elements.
- Inspect your home’s exterior walls for peeling paint. Flaking or loose paint will no longer protect your home’s siding. If it’s left uncorrected, this can cause your home’s siding to deteriorate, leading to more expensive repairs down the line.
- Finally, add or replace weather stripping around exterior doors as needed. This includes your garage door! Most older garages don’t have a connection to the rest of the home’s HVAC system, and they can get chilly. Adding weather stripping can reduce the amount of cold air that leaks in, keeping your garage at a more comfortable temperature.