Fall / Winter Checklist for Homeowners
The air is starting to get cooler, and the leaves are changing colors and beginning to fall from the trees. Fall is here, and winter will be creeping up on us before we know it! With the change from warmer to colder weather comes a list of home maintenance tasks that homeowners should consider to keep their homes in the best possible conditions for the cold weather season.
Clean or replace your gutters. Leaves and other debris can clog your gutters and downspouts and cause them to not drain properly, which may lead to ice dams on your roof or leaks in your home’s foundation.
Inspect your roof for loose or damaged shingles. You don’t want snow and ice coming through your roof and creating interior damage as well! Better to get repairs done now than in the dead of winter.
Check your windows and doors for drafts and air leaks. Adding caulk or weather stripping can help minimize cold air leakage into your home, which will not only increase your comfort, but can also help you save on heating costs.
Change your furnace filter and schedule furnace maintenance when needed. Changing your filter regularly will help keep your air quality high and your energy bills lower. Having your furnace cleaned and inspected by a qualified HVAC company can often help extend the life of your furnace unit.
Remove exterior hoses and cover up outside water spigots. Any outside hoses should be emptied of water and moved indoors. Spigot covers can help keep exterior pipes from freezing and can be purchased at any hardware store.
Test and clean your fireplace and sweep your chimney. Removing soot and creosote buildup not only reduces the risk of chimney fires, but can also improve the efficiency of your fireplace.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Although this should be done all year, the end of daylight savings time when we change our clocks back can also be a convenient reminder to test our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries if needed.
Clean and organize your garage, and find your rakes and snow shovels. Get rid of any trash, put away bicycles, lawn maintenance tools, and any other items you don’t plan to use often in the cold weather months. Make sure your rakes, shovels, and snowblower are easily accessible for fall and winter.
Store away outdoor furniture. Since we live in Michigan, we probably won’t be using our patio furniture again until late spring. Moving it inside into a garage or shed for the winter will help extend its life by keeping it out of the elements where it can become damaged from snow and ice. Another option is to cover it up.
Inspect your driveway and fill in any cracks. The freezing and thawing conditions of winter can sometimes cause cracks to develop in the cement. Fall is a great time to fill any cracks from the previous winter to prevent any further damage.
Check your attic and/or crawlspace for pests. The best pest control is prevention. Repair any cracks or holes to prevent insects and rodents from coming in to seek refuge from the cold. Be sure to get any current infestations under control to keep them from worsening. Call a pest control company if needed.