Here’s how to get your home and yard ready for winter before it’s too late. I’ve put together a simple fall home maintenance checklist and that shouldn’t take you more than one day or at the most one weekend to make sure you are ready to enjoy the weather and be prepared for the winter that will inevitably follow this great season.
Prepare Your Lawn⎪Clear and seed dead patches, fertilize and add compost/aerate and rakes any fallen leaves. Cut grass short before last frost. Then clean, use the remaining gas and stow your lawnmower for the winter.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors⎪Replace batteries and make sure they are all in working order. Good rule of thumb is to change them at Daylight Savings Time, twice a year.
Change your ceiling fan’s airflow direction⎪Most ceiling fans have a vertical switch on side of their base. Flip the switch down for summer direction (downward airflow) or flip the switch up for winter direction (upward airflow).
Drain garden hoses and store⎪Disconnect any hoses and let them drain completely. Store in a warmer location for the winter.
Clean and cover your outdoor lawn furniture
Inspect Doors and Windows⎪Make sure all weatherstripping is in place and check for drafts. Make sure to secure window well covers and make sure leaves and debris is cleaned out of the window wells.
Consider removing window screens⎪Ice or snow may get trapped between the screen and your windows, causing moisture damage. Winds and heavy snow can distort the frame around your screen or even rip the screen itself.
Drain your sprinkler system⎪You can do this yourself or call your sprinkler system installer to have your lines blown out.
Clean your gutters⎪Once the majority of the leaves have cleared off your trees it’s extremely important to get your gutters as clean as possible to allow that melt water to run off and down the downspout. Having clogged gutters causes more damage than just about anything in the winter.
Check your furnace⎪Replace your furnace filter and remove dust from coils, ductwork and motors. If you are due for a tune up this is a good time to call your professional.
Fireplace/Wood burning Stove⎪Clean your fireplace and/or wood burning stoves. Call to get a chimney sweep and/or inspection prior to using the fireplace.
Trim and prune plants⎪Late Fall is a great time to prune plants and shrubs so limbs don’t scrape against the house and it also helps plants recover in the spring.
Drain gas or add fuel stabilizer to small engine power equipment⎪ Empty the fuel tank by either running the engine dry or by pouring the gas out of the tank and into a gas can. Otherwise, to protect your fuel tank from corrosion, store your lawn mower or snow blower with stabilized-added fuel.
Bring OHV, motorcycle, marine, and electric tool batteries inside⎪ If a battery freezes, the battery’s output is diminished, often far enough where the battery become useless. Suggestion, store in a utility or laundry room on the manufacturer’s charger or a trickle charger over the winter.