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  • Writer's pictureThe True North Handyman

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist: To-Do List Before the Snow

That stifling heat wave we experienced this summer has finally broken. The leaves are starting to turn and fall from the trees. The temperature is dipping, and warm summer evenings have transitioned to cool autumn nights. The days are getting shorter. And... the snow is coming...

Sorry, but it's true. The days are zipping by and before we know it it'll be December. Now, we're absolutely not wishing the fall away, but it does remind us that there is a lot to do around the house, both inside and out, before wi

To help you get ready, we've compiled a comprehensive list of those things. Use this Fall Home Maintenance Checklist to make sure you're prepped.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

A little autumn attention will save a lot of winter heartache.

1. Clean Your Gutters

Most homeowners spend about zero time thinking about their gutters. And that's cool - when they're doing their job - draining all that water - you're good. And with all the rain we've had this year, that's important.

But, to keep them draining, it's important to give them a little TLC in the fall. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.

Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts. If you're not comfortable up on the ladder or roof, hire someone to help. And while you're up there, check for any cracks or damage and replace anything that needs replacing.

2. Seal Any Drafts

Did you know that drafts in your home can be responsible for as much as 25-30% of heating energy use. With hydro costs what they are, every penny counts.

The good news is, a little weatherstripping will often fix the issue - plus it's cheap and easy to install.

Pro tip: To check for drafts, close a door or window on a piece of paper. If you have to tug the paper hard to get it out from under the door, you're good. However, if the paper slides easily, you need to update your weatherstripping.

Here's an easy video to see how to install it:

3. Drain Your Outdoor Faucets

Before the cold weather hits, you want to make sure that you've protected any outdoor pipes from freezing. Shut off water to exterior faucets, and drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside faucets to prevent any water freezing. Not doing this can result to pipes bursting, so yeah, do this.

4. Take Care of Your A/C Unit

Let's face it, you won't need that baby anymore this year.

If you have A/C installed, consider a fall check up, but at the very least do a good clean up around the unit, removing any debris, and cover it.

If you have a window unit, remove it from the window, clean out that filter, and store it away.

5. Give the Garden an Overhaul

As part of your fall cleanup, it's a good idea to go through your gardens and prep them as well. Weed out any dead plants, clean out raised garden beds, plant any winter bulbs, and clean out pots and planters. Don't forget to store these away int he shed or garage.

Late fall is also the best time to prune any plants and trees. Try to keep limbs and branches trimmed to at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto your roof, and to stop broken limbs from doing damage during winter storms.

6. Change and Check These Things

Now, it's a good idea to do these things at least a few times a year, but the changing seasons is always a good reminder.

Check and change if necessary:

  • Batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

  • Furnace filter

  • Sump pump condition

  • Fire extinguisher (check the expiry date)

Other Items on the Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Depending on your home, its age, and condition, these are also smart to add to your fall home maintenance checklist:

  • Check exterior finishes for signs of deterioration (peeling paint, loose siding, cracks)

  • Check garage door tracks and lubricate bearings

  • Inspect fireplace and chimney dampers, clean if necessary

  • Check basement or crawl spaces for leaks or moisture

  • Check windows and screens for cracks or separations

  • Test septic system and clean if necessary

A little TLC in the fall can save you a ton of time and money in the spring. Take a day or two before the weather starts to really turn. You'll be thankful you did!

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