Handy Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall has arrived! Here’s a handy home maintenance checklist to keep your house—and property—in peak condition this winter.

Getting ready to turn on the heat. Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming season.

With furnaces turned on, the windows closed, and portable heaters humming along, fall is a great time to make sure your smoke and CO detectors are working. Check batteries and test your smoke and CO detectors. No one once to be woken in the middle of the night to beeping detectors.

Check your windows and doors. This is one of the easiest ways to save on winter energy bills and keep your house from getting cold. Make sure there are no cracks, leaks, or air coming through the window sills or door frames.

Changing the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling is a quick and easy way to efficiently heat your home.

Drain and store outdoor faucets and hoses. Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temperatures hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. While you are at it, drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage.

Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads. If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes.

Clean up and store outdoor living spaces. Say goodbye to lounging on your deck or patio during those hot summer days. If you haven’t done so already, store your outdoor decor once you’ve thoroughly wiped the remnants of summer away. Now is a good time to take care of that deck maintenance you have been putting off, check out our Outdoor Deck Maintenance Tips.

Check roof and clean gutters. Look closely for signs of roof damage. If you have a steep roof or a multi-story house, stay safe and use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground.

Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters are not sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets.

Take a close look at the ground around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house.

Trim limbs and prune plants. Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth is done. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto your roof.

Prepare your yard equipment. This means draining or adding a stabilizer to your spring/summer equipment like your mower and blower. Check to see that all of your snow equipment is up and running before the first snowfall.

Get a head start on getting your home for winter with Gemcraft’s Winter Prep List.