Getting ready for fall doesn’t just mean packing up bathing suits and shorts to make room for sweaters and scarves. There are a whole host of things around your home that you should do early on in the fall to make sure you and your home get through the cold weather ahead as comfortably as possible.
A while back, we published a home maintenance checklist on our StyleCraft Quality website. You’re more than welcome to head on over there and print the list if you’d like, but here’s a quick rundown of the items you’ll find for fall and the items we suggest you address every time daylight savings changes.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts.
- Check that windows and doors operate correctly. Look for worn gaskets and drafts.
- Clean under and behind the clothes dryer and clean the exhaust duct.
- Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and filter.
- Check water hoses on the refrigerator ice maker, washing machine and dishwasher for cracking or bubbling. Replace if necessary.
- If your home has a crawl space, close the foundation vents.
- Inspect decks and stairs for signs of deterioration.
- To prevent water from freezing and bursting pipes, close hosebibs (interior shut-off valves) and leave the silcocks (outdoor spigots) open.
- If you have a lawn irrigation system, have it winterized.
- Check all faucet shut-off valves for proper operation.
- Check for dead limbs or trees that could present fall problem.
- Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
- Check that all handrails and guardrails are secure.
- Replace batteries in all smoke detectors.
- Vacuum smoke detectors to remove dust that could hinder their operation.
- Test all GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets.
- Make sure light bulbs in all fixtures are the correct wattage.
- Check all extension cords to assure they are not worn, brittle or located under a rug.
- Vacuum bathroom fan grills.
- Practice your fire escape plan with your family.
Sure it’s a good bit of checking and shutting off and replacing and cleaning and testing. But it sure beats freezing and paying and flooding and cleaning and replacing (carpets). So as the weather cools down, feel free to print the list and walk around the house with it, checking off items as you go. Depending on the size of your house, most of this can be tackled in an afternoon, which is time well spent.