With fall finally here, everyone is feeling slightly festive. However, fall means a lot more for homeowners than pumpkins, football, and holidays. Now is the perfect time to give your home a once-over to avoid future costly inconveniences and home repairs as the cold weather hits. Take a look at the checklist below to get started on prepping your home for the colder weather!

  1. Check and replace worn weather stripping and caulking. Taking the time to replace worn-out stripping and caulking can save you loads in the long run. By keeping the cold air and moisture out, you’ll lower your heating bill in a big way.
  2. Seal gaps and openings. Not only should you caulk anywhere that bugs could get in looking for warmth, but you should also cover up exterior vents to prevent small animals from trying to move in with you this winter. Mesh screens are perfect for this.
  3. Check for cracks/blisters on painted exterior walls. These are often signs that you need a new coat of paint. By taking care of this now, you protect your walls and help prevent costlier repairs in the future.
  4. Clean your chimney. With debris and creosote build-up, your chimney needs to be professionally cleaned every other year. Regular maintenance is crucial for avoiding issues – and house fires.
  5. Stock up on firewood. Take care of this now for a toasty winter!
  6. Clean out gutters. Clean gutters are crucial for helping your home deal with winter weather. Having proper run-off can prevent major issues with your roof later.
  7. Inspect roof for cracked shingles or worn out seals. No one wants to find out they have a roof leak in the middle of blizzard.
  8. Clean, remove, or cover patio furniture. Extend the life of your patio furniture by cleaning it and preparing it for the winter now. Having to replace rusted out patio furniture isn’t anyone’s favorite idea for spring cleaning.
  9. Clean and seal your deck. Regular maintenance on your deck can make it last significantly longer. Your future self will thank you for staining, and sealing your deck before the winter weather hits.
  10. Take care of outdoor pipes now. Wrap exposed pipes in weather-resistant insulating material to prevent them from freezing and bursting during freezing weather. You should also store hoses and turn off water to outdoor faucets to prevent burst pipes as well.
  11. Check basement windows for cracks and gaps. Although this area of the house can be forgotten, leaving these issues unchecked can result in moisture getting in and your heat bill going up.
  12. Have a professional check your heating system. In addition to the possibility of a breakdown, your heating system could pose a fire hazard or have a gas leak. Take care of them now before putting stress on the system to protect your family.
  13. Wash all windows – inside and out.
  14. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  15. Check sidewalks and driveway for cracks. You could have a small crack now, but snow and ice can get into these and make the problem significantly worse come springtime.