Fall is just right around the corner. With the sudden changes in the weather, you wouldn’t want to be caught off guard and unprepared, especially if you live in a cold climate.
While the fall season hasn’t arrived yet and summer is still at its peak, it is the best time to make the most out of it and do all the seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly before the cold months come.
A bit of attention now will save costly repairs and aggravation later. So, we’ve prepared this fall cleaning checklist so you can ready yourself and your abode for fall. While you can DIY most of the tasks, it is still better to seek professional assistance. Not only will you save yourself from such a taxing job, you will also spare yourself from making things worse.
Home Maintenance Checklist for the Fall Season
Before we get into the checklist of things you need to prepare or repair before fall, let us categorize the tasks you need to deal with. The categories include exterior maintenance, interior maintenance, and system maintenance, and safety checks. Each category includes some of the basic tasks that you need to do before fall.
1. Exterior Maintenance Checklist
- Conduct a Roofing Inspection
Roof problems are usually discovered only when it’s too late, which is when water starts dripping from your roofs. So check your roofs for any areas that could possibly cause leakage during rainy days. Be also on the lookout for missing or loose shingles. See to it that your entire roof is resistant to rain, ice and snow.
- Clear Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged gutters and downspouts can be a huge problem during the rainy season as they can damage your roof. So, clear out any debris, such as dead leaves, that you can find, so water will have no chance to pool.
Cleaning out your gutters or downspouts is something you should regularly do during the fall, especially if your home is surrounded by trees and that falling leaves can easily get into your roof or siding.
- Keep Your Landscape Neat
Keep your landscaping in tip-top shape before the harsh winter weather comes. You can start with removing dead plants, cutting off branches, grasses, and shrubs, and reviving dead patches on your yard or lawn by planting new shrubs. Another thing you should do before and during fall is to mow your lawn to preserve it.
- Check Cemented Areas
Check your walkways to make sure you can easily walk on them when they will soon be covered in rainwater, and eventually ice and snow. You can start by navigating around your yard to check if your stairs or railings are already in need of repair. Another thing you should check is your driveway. See if your car can enter and exit with no problems.
- Give Your Gardens Extra Care
Pick all that needs to be harvested and remove old plants that are not only on their last legs but also those that cannot withstand the fall weather. You can then plant crops that thrive in cool weather. In addition, to protect your gardens from strong winds, you can set up wind barriers such as bags of rocks or sand.
- Keep Your Pool Cool and Covered
Unless you like swimming in the cold, your pool must be kept free of any debris, such as leaves and dirt. Also, remove toys and floating devices and keep and store them for the next summer. You may also want to use a pool cover.
- Drain and Protect Outside Faucets
Your outside faucets and other irrigation systems can possibly freeze and burst if you live in a cold area and if you do not have a freeze-proof type of faucet. Consider shutting off the valves if you have one or install a faucet protector. If you have a garden hose, remove it in the fall. Be sure to also drain any residual water to ensure that there is no water left behind after shutting off the valve.
2. Interior Maintenance Checklist
- Be On the Look-Out for Drafts
Even if you have the best home heater, it will all be pointless if you have drafts. Drafts are caused by not having enough insulation. If this is your case, the heat coming from your home heaters will leak through the cracks across the house, particularly around the windows and doors.
- Do Not Forget to Insulate
Sure, the fall is the best time to insulate your home. But it won’t also harm if you insulate it before the temperature begins to get cold. There are many doable and cheap ways you can do to insulate your home. It includes weatherproofing to seal air leaks, replacing your thin curtains with thick and blackout ones, and putting up foil sheets on your attic roof.
- Keep Your Homes Pest-Free
During the cool months of fall, many pests will seek areas that can give them warmth. You surely wouldn’t want to find these critters in your home. You can always prevent pests by taking precautions to keep them out.
Consider installing a screen on all possible entryways and making sure that your attic, basement, or garage are dry and well-ventilated at all times since this is where your unwanted guests will seek warmth.
- Do a Review of Your House’s Safety Features
It is during the cold months of the year that most house fires happen. It’s high time to do a review of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and have their batteries replaced if needed. Test them out to see if they are working properly.
Also, consider getting at least one fire extinguisher for your kitchen and if you already have one, make sure it’s not more than 6 years old. Otherwise, you need to replace it with a new one.
- Check Your Chimney for Possible Hazards
If you intend to use your fireplace during the cold seasons, be sure to inspect your chimney to see if it has accumulated flammable hazards such as Creosote. Check for any Creosote buildup and make sure to get rid of this flammable by-product.
To ensure your chimney system is ready for the cold season, have it inspected by a chimney sweep. They can clear your chimney of ash, soot, and other deposits.
- Invest in a Generator
Although this is not exactly a maintenance practice, having a generator at home gives you peace of mind during power outages. You can still have your heating systems, lights, and your appliances up and running. If you have the budget to get one, see to it that you do your research first so you would know what type of home generator you would need.
3. System Maintenance and Safety Checks
- Get Checked by Licensed Heating Contractors
Speaking of home heaters, get it all checked by professionals before the cold months instead of calling them right when you are experiencing problems. What you need to do is ensure that your home heating systems are using fuel efficiently.
- Prepare Your Water Heating System
Inspect your water heater for any rust or corrosion. Also, consider checking if your water heater is indeed heating your water supply. You may also want to insulate all of your hot water pipes, so it can help you conserve energy and ensure that you will have hot water flowing all throughout the cold months. And throughout the fall, see to it that you drain your tank to get rid of sediments and mineral deposits.
- Clean Your Furnace and Change Filters
If you rely on your furnace as your home’s heating source during the fall season, it is important to conduct a quick service inspection to make sure it works during the cold months. Make sure you clean your furnace thoroughly by vacuuming the dust it has collected and changing the furnace filters. After cleaning, test it out to see if it works, so you can have it serviced early on.
- Clean Your Air Conditioner
You obviously won’t be using your air conditioning unit during fall, but you probably used it all throughout the summer months. Your unit’s evaporator and condenser coils and air filter possibly accumulated so much pollen, dust, dirt, and other fine debris. Doing these measures allows you to optimize your unit before next summer rolls around.
Fall Maintenance Hurdles? Call Toronto Appliance Repairs!
Are you finally ready to brave the cold breeze in fall? Have you ensured that your home is a fortress that protects you from the cool months? If not, make sure to follow the recommended maintenance cited above. Do not wait until any problem related to the cold weather reaches its peak before you check and fix things in your home from inside and out.
While most of these tasks can be done by the average person, it is always good to make sure everything is done right—especially if you are not so sure yourself! Hence, it is always wise and cost-efficient to have your home checked by professionals before fall arrives.
For your appliance repair and maintenance needs, do not hesitate to contact Toronto Appliance Repairs at 416-918-2700. Schedule a FREE consultation today!