Preparing Your Home for the Cold: The Fall Maintenance Checklist

miniature standard town home surrounded by fall-colored leaves

The leaves on the trees are starting to turn, and the temperatures are beginning to dip. We will soon be in the grips of fall, and surrounded by all things pumpkin spice. For your home, this means some further preparations are necessary in preparation of winter weather. Below is our fall maintenance checklist.

Making sure these items are completed can help ensure that your home will continue to protect you through the harshest weather elements in the Midwest.

Fall Maintenance Checklist Items:

Clean Your Gutters – It’s not always fun to climb that ladder, get on the roof, and pull the leaves and sediment out of your gutters. But when they block up, it can spell disaster for the fascia boards, siding, and your home’s walls if things get bad enough. When it rains, make sure that the gutters are clear enough to maintain a strong flow – and that they pump water as far from your home as possible.

Otherwise, it’s time to climb the ladder, and clean the gutters and downspouts. You can use your hands to clean out any leaf build up in the gutters, and you can use a hose to clear out the downspouts. If you’re afraid of heights, it’s best to make sure that you hire someone to do this. Letting this job go can result in large amounts of damage down the road.

Seal Any Gaps Where Critters Can Enter – With the cold weather coming, mice and other animals only want to stay warm. If they can find their way into your home through gaps in the siding or foundation, there’s a good chance that’s exactly what they’ll do.

Go ahead and take a walk around your home’s exterior, inspecting for any of these visible gaps. You can seal any holes with a heavy-duty hardware cloth, to make sure that your interior stays as pest free as possible.

Take Inventory on Winter Supplies – It never fails, when the first blizzard warning strikes, there’s a hoard of people at the hardware store looking for shovels. Take inventory of your shovels now. Make sure your snow blower is adequately working. Check to see if you have enough bags of pet-friendly ice melt. You can even look at your car emergency kits, and if you have what you need to put weight in the back of your vehicles, if necessary. It’s not exactly the subject of this blog post, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure the kitchen cabinets are stocked with enough hot chocolate and pumpkin spice product, either.

Protect Your Pipes – Exterior faucets and exposed hoses leave your pipes at risk for the winter months. This is especially true as we begin to experience the sub-zero temperatures that have plagued the Midwest the last few winters. Shut off your exterior faucets before the temperatures dip, and store hoses inside. This helps to prevent frozen pipes during the worst plunges of the season.

Conduct an Energy Audit – This simple step can help you immensely to understand how energy efficient your home is. This is a method that will give you plenty of customized recommendations that may include adding weather stripping, updating your roof or siding, upgrading to Energy Star appliances, or adding additional insulation in particularly vulnerable locations around your home. There are companies out there that specialize in providing this service. These improvements can make a significant difference and help you keep a more comfortable home while saving you money in the long run.

Pulling it All Together for a More Comfortable Home

The long and grueling Midwestern winters can have a significant impact on the integrity and structure of your home. Now is the time of year to protect your home from these elements. Here are some more fall maintenance checklist items to winterize your home from our sister site. When you address these fall maintenance checklist items now, you can help ensure that your home will continue to protect you in the long run.

If you have questions about how to update your siding, roof, or gutters before the cold weather sets in, contact us today!