Fall Prep & Winterization Guidelines

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Home Improvement


As the temperatures begin to drop & the season turns to fall, it is time to prepare your home & property for the weather. Protecting your investment is of the utmost importance. The following are some guidelines to help your preparations. These tips have been put together by home maintenance professionals.    

Prepping Your Exterior For The Cold 

With cooler temperatures and moderate amounts of rain, fall is the perfect time to get outside & work on home maintenance. Let’s review what to finish up before the winter season rolls around.

Clean Out Gutters & Downspouts

When gutters get cluttered with leaves & other pieces of debris, it prevents rainwater from exiting. This can cause damage to the structure of your home. Throughout the fall season, consistently clean your gutters to help maintain the structural integrity of your roof. While you are cleaning your gutters, check if water is coming down behind the gutter and that the supporting brackets are secure. Cleaning gutters requires a ladder to reach the roof, but if you don’t feel comfortable with the height, you can reach out to a professional.

Winterize Your Landscaping

Fall is the perfect time to tune up your landscape & prep it for the harsh winter weather. What you will need to complete will depend on your unique landscaping layout, but there are standard steps that you can take to keep your yard fresh for the upcoming spring.

Prune any trees or shrubs after the leaves lose their color, as this will help with their health and future growth.
Rake leaves routinely during the fall months.
Cover any bushes to protect them from the frost. If needed, bring plants that cannot tolerate cold weather inside.
Trim any tree limbs that are close to power lines or your house, especially if they look weak or dead.
Fall is an opportune time to fertilize & reseed your lawn, so consider spending time prepping your lawn and garden for spring.
Inspect & Repair Exterior Surfaces

To avoid any major repairs during the winter, you’ll want to inspect key areas that are susceptible to wear & tear. You’ll want to check all windows & door frames for any damage or gaps. Make any necessary repairs & install weather-stripping/caulk to prevent cold air from entering. Door sweeps can also be installed on the bottom of the doors.

Other areas that you will want to inspect include walkways, outdoor stairs, driveways, railings, the roof, the house siding & the foundation. If any repairs are needed, ensure that they are completed before the winter.

Another important exterior fix is sealing any gaps around the house to prevent additional drafts or even pests from entering your home. There are thick hardware cloths available to keep the cold air and animals out.

Drain Exterior Faucets & Sprinkler System

To prevent frozen pipes, remember to drain your sprinkler system & any exterior water sources, like faucets. You can cover any exterior pipes & faucets to prevent freezing. Hardware stores often supply insulated covers that are made specifically for outdoor pipes. You’ll also want to store any garden hoses inside after you drain them.

If your pipes do freeze during the fall or winter, know where your water shut-off valve is located just in case you need to turn off your water supply.

Interior Fall Home Maintenance Projects 

While interior projects can be completed year-round, the autumn season is the official transition from hot, outdoor celebrations to cooler days spent inside. Here are some suggestions for interior home maintenance projects:

Check Safety Devices

No matter the season, it’s essential to ensure that all safety devices are working properly. This can include smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors & fire extinguishers.

Inspect Your Attic & Basement

During the winter, you spend much more time inside & need to be aware of any potential issues. Inspecting your attic & basement can let you know if there is a mold/mildew problem, pest infestations or ventilation issues. If any of these issues are present, call a professional for assistance as soon as possible.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

During the winter, A/C experts recommend that your ceiling fans spin in a clockwise direction to circulate hot air down.

Clean Your Chimney & Inspect Heating Systems

It’s important to stay warm during the cooler months. You’ll want to clean any chimney or heating system that you have & repair any damage before you use them. If you don’t have a chimney cap to prevent critters from entering, be sure to install one before they look for a warm refuge.

Deep Clean Your Home

Spring may be known as the best time to deep clean but fall deep cleaning can also help with improving air quality & ensuring that everything in your house is in working condition. Consider wiping down/disinfecting your baseboards, walls, kitchen appliances, stove range hood, carpets, windowsills, curtains, blinds & any hard-to-reach areas. Don’t forget to remove any lint buildup in the dryer vent, as the cooler weather increases static.

Declutter & Donate Items

With new seasons comes a change in clothes, with warm sweaters & boots reentering your closet after their hibernation. If you find some items that you no longer need, consider donating or selling them to create more room in your home.

Final Thoughts 

Prioritizing fall maintenance tasks throughout the season keeps your house in good shape while preventing major, expensive repairs during the winter months. Some tasks can be completed in a day, while others will need to be incorporated into a regular routine. If tackling all these projects is overwhelming for your schedule, hiring professionals help can keep your fall maintenance schedule in check.