As a homeowner, there are plenty of chores that need to be done around the house. Some, as you may know, are more exciting than others. And some are much more important than others.
When an important home maintenance chore only needs to be done annually or even biannually, it can be extremely easy to forget them the next year around. That’s why fall is a great time to create a home maintenance routine. The weather is warm (but not too hot) and dry. Plus, fall is your last chance to get certain types of home maintenance projects done if you live in a place that gets heavy snow in the winter. By making fall home maintenance a tradition in your household, you’re less likely to forget some important but easily overlooked homeowner tasks.
Here’s a checklist of the most common fall home maintenance items around the home that should be looked at and done before the cold weather hits, broken down by the exterior, the landscaping, the interior, and the bedroom in particular. These checklists are also a great way to prepare the home before those holiday guests arrive at your doorstep. Most of these items can be accomplished without a professional, but of course, feel free to call one if the task is beyond your expertise or skill level.
How to Prepare the Outside of Your Home Before the First Snow Arrives
- Clean your gutters before the rainy weather occurs. And while you are up on the ladder, take the time to inspect your roof and repair as needed. Annual inspections will save you money in the long run.
- Inspect your windows for cracks. You should seal those cracks with caulking material as needed.
- Weatherstrip your doors and garage door to alleviate any unnecessary drafts. This will save money on those heating bills.
- Power wash the exterior windows.
- Touch up exterior siding and trim with paint. (Video: How to Touch Up Paint)
- Inspect your walkways and the driveway for cracks and uneven areas.
- Direct drainage away from your house before the rain/snow occurs.
- Organize your garage. This is the perfect time to dig out the necessities like winter tools and seasonal decor. (Checklist: Garage Organization)
- Cover your air conditioning unit.
- Drain the water heater to remove sediment from the tank (this can cause it to work harder and eventually cost more to use).
- Enjoy your porch and outdoor furniture as long as the weather allows. When it gets too cold and you are ready, clean and cover/put away in a protected area. This includes all outdoor furniture and the barbeque grill. (Guide: How to Clean Patio Furniture)
- Protect the deck from the elements by power washing and applying a sealant.
Simple Fall Landscaping Maintenance Tips for a Stress-Free Spring
- Prepare your lawn for the winter by raking, mowing and fertilizing. This will ensure healthy grass come next spring.
- Prune the trees and shrubs. Trim those tree branches before the winds take over. You might consider having damaged tree limbs removed by a professional tree service.
- Clean out debris.
- Divide and cut back perennials so they have a new life in the spring.
- Protect sensitive plants from the cold by covering them during frozen days/nights.
- Till the vegetable garden.
- Dig up the summer bulbs and plant your spring bulbs before the first frost. Tip: Store bulbs in a cool, dark area until the spring planting season
Don’t Forget These Important Seasonal Chores for the Inside the House
Put your best foot forward during the upcoming holiday season by tackling these semi-annual chores.
- Shampoo the carpets.
- Vacuum the couches thoroughly.
- Check the fireplace for damage or hazards. Look up the chimney for blockages and check to ensure the damper is working.
- Check your dryer’s exhaust tube and vent for lint and debris.
- Verify insulation is intact and there is no standing water in crawl spaces.
- Clean your shower heads to improve water efficiency and water pressure. You can do so by simply filling a bag with white vinegar then tying it around the shower head overnight.
- Dust fan blades, window shades and light fixtures.
- Clean behind the refrigerator.
- Clean your oven in preparation for the upcoming holiday baking. Most ovens have a self-clean setting.
- Check the condition of the range hood fan and clean the hood filters. Grease can periodically accumulate leading to a fire hazard.
- Clean your home humidifiers to prevent bacteria and mold growth.
- Inspect and change your furnace filters before turning on the heat to alleviate allergens in the home. This will also make it easier to regulate your home’s temperature and save you money on those utility bills.
- Test and change the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This should be done twice a year, usually when you turn the clocks in fall/spring.
Seasonal Organization of the Bedrooms Make for A Cozy Winter
- Pack up, wash and put away your summer bedding. It’s officially time to bring out the flannels and heavier blankets.
- Flip those mattresses.
- Rotate your closets. Pack up the summer clothing and replace with your winter clothing. Consider donating clothing your family no longer wears.
Planning ahead and doing a few simple chores around the home this fall will not only allow for a stress-free winter but also free up more time to enjoy the holidays. Every home is uniquely different and you are bound to develop your own fall home maintenance traditions. Some items may not apply to your individual needs but it’s a starting point.
I would love to hear your must-have fall home maintenance tips, too! Leave a comment below.
More Fall Resources:
- 8 Ways to Prepare Your Home (and Life) for Winter Weather
- 10 Easy and Inexpensive Fall Decorating Ideas
- Healthy Home Cleaning Tips to Combat Flu Season