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Fall is upon us, bringing with it vibrant red, yellow, and orange leaves, shorter days, crisp air, and pumpkin spice lattes. Fall also means that it is time to get your home ready for the upcoming winter months. To ensure you don’t get overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, follow this fall home maintenance checklist.

1. Take a good look at your home’s exterior and schedule any needed repairs.

From the roof and siding to the windows and doors, you want to make sure your home is in good condition before winter hits. Start by using caulk to seal any cracks between the siding and trim, around door frames and windows, and where wires and pipes enter your home. Pay special attention to the area between the threshold, frame and entry door. Gaps here allow the cold air easy access to your home. You can add weatherstripping or adjust/replace the rubber strip surrounding it. If that does not correct the problem, then you should replace the door.

Then, move on to the roof. If you aren’t comfortable climbing up there to look for buckled, missing, or cracked shingles, you’ll want to hire someone to do this for you. If there are any issues, have them repaired immediately. If the roof needs to be replaced, consider using a stone coated steel shingle to prevent any future issues.

2. Clean out your gutters.

All of those falling leaves do more than collect in your yard. They, along with twigs and other debris, can easily clog your gutters. In addition to removing any debris from your gutters, you’ll want to assess the downspouts and diverters. To prevent puddles of standing water from forming, be sure that water from the downspout flows at least 10 feet away from your home.

3. Make sure your windows are clean and ready to withstand the winter.

This is the perfect time to clean and polish your windows. Start by using a feather duster to get rid of dirt and dust. Then, use a solution a mild cleaning solution (i.e. Windex®) to clean the windows. Next, check all moving parts to see if they need any lubrication, making them easier to open, and replace any broken locks. Finally, be sure to add weatherstripping, if needed. An inspection may reveal the need for new windows. Consider maintenance free vinyl replacement windows for superior energy efficiency.

4. Drain and store your garden hoses.

This is important to prevent water from freezing in the hoses and later causing them to bust. After putting all hoses away, be sure to to apply insulating covers on any exterior spigots. It is also a good idea to drain your sprinkler system or have the pipes serviced by a professional. This will ensure you don’t have to deal with a busted sprinkler head or pipes when spring rolls in.

5. Check your furnace.

You’ll want to have a heating and air pro check over your heating system to make certain it is ready for winter. Be sure that your furnace filters are changed. Keep in mind that it is recommended your filters be replaced every two months.

6. Give your sunroom a deep cleaning and a new look.

In addition to getting rid of any clutter and packing away any warm-weather toys and decor, use a microfiber duster to dust the walls and fans. Vacuum the floors, baseboards, rugs, and chair cushions. Then, put down a rug pad to layer the floor and block out the cold. You may also want to add an electric fireplace or space heater for some added warmth. Finally, add a bit of winter decor, such as scented candles, lush throws, string lights, and small spotted Norfolk pines to give the room a winter-friendly look.

Now that you’ve taken care of your fall home maintenance checklist, it’s time to enjoy football and everything pumpkin related.