fall-cleaning-checklist

Outdoor House Cleaning Checklist for Fall

Fall will be here before we know it, and there are several things that need to be done around the house before winter sets in. The easiest way to remember everything there is to do is to create an outdoor house cleaning checklist for fall. There are also a few things to take care of inside the house as well.

Leaf Cleanup
This is the most apparent chore that people think of when autumn comes around. If there are trees on your or your neighbor’s property, it is likely that you will need to clean up leaves and trim any obviously dead branches. Winter snow can cause dead branches to break, so it is vital that these be trimmed back. Make sure that the gutters on your home are free of leaves and other debris. In moist climates, debris left in gutters for months could cause the growth of algae or mold. Melting snow and ice will not drain properly off the roof unless the gutters and downspouts are clear. This is the time to perform repairs or hire a professional to clean, replace or repair gutters and downspouts. Check the roof for any shingle damage as well.

Other Outdoor Chores
Outdoor furniture should be cleaned and stored away for the winter. If you have furniture covers, these can also be used to protect furniture from cold and snow. Pots and planters should be stored away, and some plants may need to be brought indoors so they will survive the winter. Sprinkler systems will have to be winterized, including blowing out the pipes and shutting off the system. Garden hoses should be disconnected before the first hard frost to avoid burst pipes.

Weatherstripping around windows should be checked and replaced if needed, as well as caulking. Any exposed pipes, such as those leading to a sprinkler system, should be covered. Special coverings can be purchase at many big box or home improvement stores. If you have an outdoor pool, it should be drained and weatherized. Outdoor sheds should be organized, and gardening tools cleaned and put in their proper places. If you have a fireplace, the chimney should be cleaned. This is likely to be a job you would hire a professional for.

Inside the Home
The garage often accumulates items during the summer, such as children’s sports equipment, bicycles, and other summer fun items. The fall is an excellent time to organize and put away equipment that will not be used until the following summer. Fall is also the time to pull out winter sports equipment and check for needed repairs before the season begins.
Ceiling fans that were used throughout the summer should be cleaned, and windows washed. Some people choose to replace light drapes with heavy curtains to keep out the winter chill. Be sure to thoroughly dust and clean any miniblinds and vacuum out dead bugs and leaves in the window tracks.

Many homeowners choose to clean and declutter inside the home in preparation for fall and the winter holiday season. Seldom used bedding should be washed, such as in a guest room. Pantries should be cleared of expired or stale food.
Do not forget to change the furnace filter and check that the furnace is working correctly. The middle of a cold snap is not an opportune time to discover that the furnace is not operational. It is vital that the intake vent be cleared of any pet hair, dust, and debris so that air will flow through the system smoothly. You may also choose to hire a professional to clean out ductwork, especially if you have lived in your home for several years.

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