Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Dated: September 15 2021

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Have you noticed a bit more of a chill in the air recently?

The transition from summer to fall always seems to come faster than we expect. One day we are lounging on the beach, the next we are putting on sweaters to head out in the morning.

Before the fall season sneaks up on you, make sure that you have your home maintenance to-do list ready. You don’t want to be caught heading into winter without getting your house ready.

To help you out, here is a checklist of important home maintenance tasks to complete in the fall:

1. Clean your gutters

Falling leaves and nesting animals clog up your gutters during the fall. If the debris doesn’t get cleaned out before the first snowfall, you will end up with frozen gutters and nowhere for melting snow to run off.

There are lots of tools available, but one great DIY hack for cleaning your gutters is to use a plastic spatula to scrape out leaves and grime. It won’t damage the gutters, and it is easy to clean off. (Tip: don’t use the same spatula that you cook with).

2. Check smoke detectors

You’re probably quite used to hearing reminders to check your smoke detectors on daylight savings. It is a good idea to test these emergency devices every 6 months to be sure that they are still working properly.

Make sure to also look for the expiration dates on smoke detectors and CO2 detectors, in case they need to be replaced.

When your house is all closed up for the winter and you have ovens, furnaces, or fireplaces turned on more frequently, be sure that smoke and CO2 don’t get trapped in your house by keeping your alarms in working condition.

3. Drain garden hoses

While cleaning up your yard, be sure to drain any garden hoses in preparation for colder weather. Even if you detach them and put them in a shed or garage, winter weather could still cause them to freeze. And, as you know, frozen water expands, meaning it could split your hose.

4. Clean your chimney

Who doesn’t love a good fire on a cool fall night?

Before you light that fire, though, you might want to consider when the last time was that you cleaned out your chimney.

Buildup in a chimney is dangerous because it could catch a spark and light on fire. To prevent this from happening, you should clean your chimney every 50-70 burns.To see how bad the buildup is in your chimney, use your fire poker to reach up and scrape the soot off the inside.

5. Winterize your barbeque

Once you are done your last barbeque dinner of the season, be sure to pack your grill away before winter.

The first thing you will want to do is clean the grill and burner mechanism. Food residue might attract unwanted critters. It is a good idea to coat the metal parts with cooking oil to repel moisture, and wrap the burner mechanism up in plastic to keep bugs out.

Cover your grill. If you’d rather bring it in, be sure to disconnect the gas and leave the tank outside.

6. Replace your furnace filter

Before you turn your furnace on for the first time this season, it’s a good idea to replace the filter (or at least check to see if it should be replaced). Filters need to be replaced more frequently if:

  • There are pets in the house
  • You or other members of your household smoke indoors
  • You see a buildup of dust on surfaces in the house
  • You open your windows a lot

This will keep your air clean and your furnace running efficiently.

7. Prepare for emergencies

It is always a good idea to have an emergency preparedness kit that includes things like battery-powered lights, bottled water, self-stable foods, first aid supplies, etc. You never know when you may experience natural disasters or power outages.

As winter approaches, the latter will become more of a risk due to ice and storms taking out power lines. Make sure you have basic supplies in case of these types of emergency situations.

8. Check for drafts

Drafty doors and windows not only make your home uncomfortable in the cooler months, but they also end up costing you more money. If you don’t address the drafts, you will end up with a higher electricity bill because of the heat escaping from your house.

Check whether doors and windows in your home need new weather stripping before the cold weather hits.

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Paul Schnittker

Almonte has been my home for many years, and I love living and working in this community. I moved from sales to Real Estate in 2016 because I wanted to help others find their dream home here in the Ot....

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