Home Maintenance Checklist For Fall And Winter

home maintenance for fall and winter
It’s that time of year again where like the squirrels prepare by finding and storing their food for winter and make their home cozier and warmer, we too have to think ahead.
As hard as it is to believe or want to believe, fall has quickly approached. This year in Ottawa the summer kind of forgot about us, but September has been incredibly warm and sunny and according to the weather network October is going to be about the same. So WOO HOO !! for summer come back.
However, as much as we would love to hang on to the warm sunny weather, sadly we all have to start thinking about and getting ready for the fall clean up that needs to get done around the house to make our home safe and ready for our hibernation months.
Just like when spring rolls along we get our homes ready for enjoying the great outdoors and bringing out the stored patio furniture, pull out the barbecue, we turn on the outdoor water, get the lawnmower ready to go and all the other great things we do to enjoy our short Canadian summers.
turning off water from inside house for fall and winter maintenance to prevent freezing
Fall cleaning has to be started and we just have to go in reverse from the spring checklist. Here are some tips on what you can do to check off all the boxes as done on your home maintenance checklist for the fall and winter.

Fall and Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

  • Turn off all out door water faucets from the tap inside of your house. This will protect the pipes in your home from freezing when temperatures start to drop. Drain the water hoses and store them for next year.
  • Clean the gutters and water spouts, eavestroughs from all the debris. This will ensure that once the ice melts again in the spring, there will be a clear way for the water to drain and won’t back up into the roof or siding.

fall leaves to be removed from exterior of house is good home maintenance

  • Cleaning up the leaves around the exterior parts of the house will alleviate the little critters like mice and chipmunks from finding ways to get in. They seem to like finding areas covered in leaves to hide in, and there’s always a small pin hole they can get in through.
  • Seal any gaps around the exterior of your house where these little critters can get in through. Usually caulking the gaps helps significantly. To make sure you can spot the gaps, you can walk around the exterior of your house with a mirror held up under the areas where gaps may be. Between the siding and the cement or brick usually are the spots where mice can get in from. Even around the area where your kitchen fan or clothes dryer vents are. These are areas where caulking them properly to make sure there are no pencil like gaps where mice can enter will make you sleep better at night knowing these little critters are not sharing your food. 🙂

Take a look at your trees and bushes, make sure they are in good health to survive our harsh Canadian winters. Fall is the perfect time to prune them and care for them so that they survive the long cold winter months and flourish again in the spring.

  • Take a walk around your house and look for any signs of damage to the roof, siding or foundation. If there are things you notice that may need repairing, then you still have time to do them yourself or call in a professional.
  • Take a look at the exterior paint around the house. Do the windows need painting? This would help protect them against the harsh environmental stresses of winter. Fall is a perfect time to get touch ups or paint the front door and garage to give it a fresh look through the winter and it takes one item off the spring cleaning checklist.

exterior painting of window for good home maintenance

  • Check with your to see if maintenance is needed to the exterior paint.  Painting the exterior of your home is good maintenance. See the list of related articles on maintaining your home’s exterior paint at the end of this article.
  • Make sure your home is energy efficient. Checking the weatherstripping around the frames of windows and doors is a good way to make sure you keep the cold out over the fall and winter months. It’s easily replaceable if needed.
  • If you have a window installed air conditioner then make sure to remove it or make sure it’s properly covered and insulated, to keep the cold air out. If you have a regular A/C unit outside of the house that works through the furnace then make sure you have it checked to make sure it’s ready to go again next winter. Call a Furnace and Air Conditioning expert who will ensure both will be running properly when needed. It’s a good idea to get a yearly maintenance on both the furnace and air conditioner units.
  • Check the dryer vents for any lint build up. Make sure they are free of any lint and surrounding debris. This will ensure your dryer works properly and most importantly reduces the risk of a fire in your home.
  • Check the fireplace and chimney before starting that first cozy fire. Make sure the inside of the fireplace is clean from leftover build up of ashes. Ensure that the chimney is cleaned and if you don’t already have one, install a cap on the chimney top to prevent squirrels, birds and raccoons from being able to get in. Hiring a chimney cleaning company is a good idea because they have the experience as well as all the necessary equipment to get it done properly and safely.
  • For you and your family’s safety make sure you change the batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries need replacing once a year, a good idea is to mark in on your calendar either for the spring checklist or the fall. Check to make sure the expiry date has not passed on any home fire extinguishers you may have in the house.
  • As well for you and your family’s health and safety, it’s important to make sure our homes have good air quality. With today’s new technology in building materials for houses that make them air tight, there may be risks of having radon in the house. You can find out more about radon in your home from the City of Ottawa website.

Get Ready For Winter

  • Check the snow shovels, ice scrapers for both the car(s) and the driveway/walkway to your house. It’s important to have them ready to go should a major freeze or snowfall happen. Make sure they are in good condition, especially the car scraper, so that you always have it ready to go and make your drive safe.
  • Stock up on ice melt salt bags, it makes it easier to have one or two handy in the garage for the first freezing rain storm.
  • Make sure your snow blower is ready to go. Get it serviced if it hasn’t been in awhile.
  • Buy or re-stock your home and car emergency preparedness kits. Check the CAA Ottawa Saftey Kit checklist .

Last but not least, the one other thing to get ready, would be to getting the snow tires out of storage and have those ready to go cause you just never know when our weather can change. We all know that we can go to sleep one night with mild sunny weather and wake up to the brutal cold and drudging snow and ice the next morning.

With all there is to do to get our homes ready for the hibernation of fall and winter, hope this list has provided you with some ideas on what you need for your Home Maintenance Checklist for Fall and Winter.
Related articles on maintaining the exterior paint on your house.
The front door
Exterior Paint Problems
Sticking or Peeling Paint
Maintaining the House by Painting helps sell it faster

Before winter comes don’t forget to enjoy some beautiful walks around Ottawa. All the fall colours and the fresh air are precious to us before our hibernating months of brutal colds and deep freezes. Get out to Dow’s Lake, Hog’s Back, Rockcliffe Park, and all the other beautiful things to do in Ottawa and enjoy.