It’s unavoidable: winter is coming. The term "winterization" can be misleading since the hard work needs to happen in autumn! And while seasoned homeowners might know the ins & outs of winterization, first-time homeowners might not, so we compiled a helpful checklist of fall home to-dos to assist your clients through the yearly process:
- Rake up leaves
A fall classic. You can also mow your leaves instead of raking them and they will decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter!
- Remove or cover your air conditioner
This is an easy one to forget but make sure to remove window units or place a cover on the outdoor unit. This will ensure they’ll stay in good shape during the long winter months.
- Remove garden hoses from faucets
This should be one of the first on your to-do list. When freezing temps hit, the water can freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes.
- Keep out the critters
Take a tour of your home, look for any cracks that might let an unwelcome guest sneak inside. Seal any openings with spray foam or steel wool.
- Clean out gutters
Clogged gutters can cause ice dams in the winter, so it’s important to clean out any fallen leaves, twigs, or other gifts from nature.
- Check your furnace
Have a heating & cooling professional check and tune up your furnace for the heating season. It’s an easy way to make sure your furnace will be in tip-top shape for when it’s needed. It’s also a good time to replace the filter.
- Inspect your roof
Your roof is the first line of defense in protecting your home, if shingles are missing or damaged, water can leak in during winter.
- Check your snow blower & snow removal equipment
Check that your snow blower, shovels, & other winter maintenance equipment are easily accessible, so when the first snow comes, you’ll be ready!
- Check your windows & doors
Look for any spots where air can escape. Apply caulk or weatherstripping to avoid chilly drafts!
- “Fall”-proof your space
- Floors: Scan your floors and steps for any fall risks. Look for clutter, slippery stairs, or loose rugs. Where possible, add sticky padding to prevent slips.
- Activities: Do you have a daily routine? It might be helpful to put in grab bars in the shower, or a second handrail by the stairs.
- Lighting: Is your home bright enough to see any potential hazards?
- Leaving: Examine your outdoor paths and steps. Are there any broken steps or overgrown shrubs that might trip you up when leaving your home?