As the end of summer gets closer, it’s important to take some time to prepare your home for the changing of the seasons. Making sure everything is in working order and stored away will make your life easier as the days go colder.
To make your honey-do list or to-do checklist a bit easier, we’ve compiled a series of seasonal maintenance tasks – for both indoor and outdoor – that will keep your home in tip-top shape throughout the fall and into winter.
If this list seems a bit overwhelming, aim to accomplish just a few tasks each week. If you start now, you’ll have most (if not all) of these items finished up well before the Holiday season – which is also right around the time I’ll be bringing you another series of tips to help you winterize your home!
- Test smoke and fire alarms, replacing batteries and cleaning dust from the covers.
- Check and/or replace your fire extinguishers.
- Clean and vacuum heating ducts, grills and registers. You may also want to clean any ceiling fans that were used during warmer months.
- Clean/vacuum refrigerator coils and area behind refrigerator.
- Check your fireplace damper for soot buildup, and have a certified chimney sweep inspect/clean the flues of your chimney. Make sure to remove bird nests from chimney flues, as any type of blockage or buildup can pose a fire hazard.
- Have a heating professional check your heating system. Furnace and air filters need to be replaced frequently to allow heating and cooling systems to operate properly. If you plan to use humidifiers or space heaters, you’ll also want to clean and inspect them for safety. Also check and maintain your hot water heater.
- Check all window and door locks for proper operation. All exterior doors should have deadbolt locks.
- Check for adequate caulking around doors and windows to reduce heat loss. This will also help reduce potential water damage to windows and door frames. Make sure that there is adequate caulking around your bathroom fixtures to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring. Check for cracked or missing caulk around the base of your toilet, bathtub and bathroom cabinets. Properly sealing gaps between your bathroom fixtures and flooring material can prevent potential damage.
- Fix any leaky faucets and unclog any drains as needed.
- Perform seasonal pest control to protect your home from critters that want to come into the warmth.
- Check the weather-stripping around your doors and replace if necessary.
- Trim and treat your houseplants or exotic plants with insecticidal soap to ensure you don’t bring any unwanted pests into your home. Be sure you bring them inside before the overnight temperatures hit 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clean gutters and inspect your roof’s surface for any needed repairs. For safety reasons, you may want to consider hiring a qualified professional to take care of any repair work that needs to be done. The Home Depot offers professional, efficient roof installation services at a competitive price.
- Wash/clean all windows, replacing window screens and insulation as necessary.
- Cut back any trees or shrubs that may be touching the roof or exterior of your home. This should be done regularly during the growing season as well.
- Once your lawn and garden stops growing run all of your gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel tank is empty. By doing this, you are preventing flammable liquid from being stored in your garage and protecting the equipment from damage.
- Clean and cover all of your patio furniture.
- Pack your patio furniture cushions and pillows plus your decorative items into your deck box or your garden shed.
- Pressure wash your deck, patio and/or outdoor recreation area.
For more in-depth information on fall maintenance, check out Prepare and Maintain: More Fall Home Maintenance Tips.