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Fall Homeowner Checklist

By MNR News posted 09-22-2021

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. Check your windows & doors
    Look for any spots where air can escape. Apply caulk or weatherstripping to avoid chilly drafts!
  10. “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?