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Your Fall Checklist!

Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before day light savings, and colder weather, make outdoor work too difficult. Here’s some items to check off your list this season, and you can rest easy knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter.

Tasks to Check Off Your List in an Hour or Less

Living in a region with cold, snowy winters, fall is the time to prepare! Get started by stocking up on winter supplies.

  • Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed.
  • Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt, if needed.
  • Restock emergency kits for car and home.
  • If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel.

Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety. When it’s slippery outside, just walking from your driveway to the front door can be challenging. Make navigating around safe by checking that all stairs are intact and have sturdy railings on them so you don’t slip while going up or down those steps!

Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. To avoid pipes bursting in your home this winter, make sure you shut off the water before temperatures plummet. This includes exterior faucets as well! Drain hoses and store them indoors where they will stay dry until springtime.

Test outdoor lights and replace bulbs as needed. As the days get shorter we rely more on exterior lighting, both for safety and ambiance. Test lights on the front and back porch, on the garage and in the landscape, and replace bulbs as needed.

Vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters and grates. Get ready for heating season by clearing away dust and grime from radiators, baseboard heaters and heating grates. If your radiators have removable covers, take them off and vacuum beneath the cover before replacing.

Remove window A/C units. If you use window air conditioning units in the summer, remove them before the weather turns cold. If you must leave in window A/C units, cover the exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep cold air out.

Seal gaps where critters could enter. Mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak into your house and raid your pantry. And with colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.

Add weatherstripping. Weatherstripping applied around the frames of windows and doors helps boost winter warmth and cut energy costs. Add door sweeps to the base of drafty doors to keep heat in and cold air out.

Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire — cool, dry fall weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has built up, so now is a key time to get that lint out. You can hire a duct cleaning specialist to clean the vents for you, or clean the vent yourself.

Maintenance and Extras to Budget for This Month

Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.

Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.

Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Make sure your furnace or boiler are clean and in working order before turning on the heat. If you don’t already have a chimney cap, purchase one to stop critters from crawling down the pipes!

Thank you Laura Gaskill for the wonderful article. Check out her Houzz page for more home tips!

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