Fall has arrived and cooler temperatures are here. While you may be excited to pull out extra blankets and have a fire in the fireplace, first make a fall home maintenance checklist to keep track of your tasks. Making a list will help you clearly see what needs to be done before winter arrives. Here are a few things you can do to prepare your home for cold weather.

1. Fall Home Maintenance: Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters drain water from your roof. If they’re clogged, the roof could be damaged and leaks could develop. Worse still, clogged gutters can lead to severe structural problems down the road. They are designed to funnel water away from your home, but if they get backed up, rainwater can damage your siding and seep into your basement and attic.

Before the weather gets too cold to work outdoors, clean the gutters to keep them in good working condition. If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder, hire a professional to handle the job.

2. Stop Drafts

Air leaks around windows increase your energy costs by up to 30%. Weatherstripping is an excellent and cost-effective way to keep your heating costs low during the fall. However, weatherstripping material can wear out over time. Inspect the weatherstripping at least yearly. You can check it by closing your windows or doors on a strip of paper. If it slides out easily, it’s time to replace the weatherstripping.

3. Drain Outdoor Faucets and Garden Hoses

Frigid temperatures can lead to burst plumbing pipes. Turning off exterior faucets will help to prevent this. Close the valve that supplies water to the faucet and then open the tap to drain water from it. Drain garden hoses and store them indoors to prevent them from being damaged during freezing weather.

4. Get the Furnace Inspected

Add annual furnace inspections to your fall home maintenance checklist. Schedule an inspection to make sure your furnace is in good working order. That way you’ll know the system is ready to handle colder temperatures and won’t leave you without heat on the coldest day of the year.

5. Repair Walkways as Part of Fall Home Maintenance

Damaged walkways, stairs, and driveways are a potential safety hazard. Ice and snow make them an even greater risk. Keep these areas safe by repairing issues such as wide cracks and uneven steps. Taking care of cracks and gaps in the fall will prevent water from seeping into them and freezing, causing further damage.

6. Prepare Your Lawn

Taking care of your lawn is an all-year-round activity. If you want to preserve the health of the grass, prepare it during the fall. Rake leaves to keep the lawn tidy. Fertilize the grass to prepare it for the winter. Fall is an excellent time to fertilize your lawn because the weather isn’t too hot and the grass has time to absorb the fertilizer before winter.

7. Perform a Home Safety Check

Check your home’s safety devices at least once a year. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working and replace batteries if necessary. Additionally, check the fire extinguishers in your home to verify they are fully charged.

Make a Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your home for the winter. Harsh weather conditions may make it difficult to work outdoors. Prepare in early fall by creating a home maintenance checklist. It serves as a guide and keeps you on track, and a list of chores will help you budget for each task.

Carolina Homechek provides home inspections to customers in Charlotte, NC, and the surrounding areas. Contact us to request our services.