The fall, with its chilly weather, is a great time to get started on the winterizing process. If you're like me, though, it's hard to find the time in between all the other things that are going on. Luckily for you (and me!), this simple checklist will help prepare your home for next season:
Clean and Stow Your Mower
It's important to clean your mower before storing it for the winter. First, add a fuel stabilizer to the gasoline tank. This will save the engine parts from being damaged. Then carefully rinse off the mower deck with cool water. Wipe dry with a soft cloth or towel before putting it away until springtime!
Disconnect garden hoses
Store in a cool, dry place such as your garage or basement. If you don’t have room to store all the hose, consider buying a reel to wind it up and keep it safe from freezing.
As an extra precaution, take the hose apart and remove any clamps that could freeze and expand while they are attached to your faucet; this will prevent them from breaking off in your faucet when they expand after thawing out.
Check for drafts around doors and windows
Use a candle to check for drafts. If the flame flickers or goes out, you have a draft that needs to be sealed up! You can use weather stripping or caulk on the bottom of your door where it meets the floor and around any cracks or holes in your window frames (caulk is more effective).
Clean out your gutters
It’s a good idea to clean out your gutters every fall, and even more frequently if you live in an area with frequent rain or snow. Remove leaves and other debris that have accumulated during the growing season. If you have gutters with metal leaf guards, check them for damage, repair them as needed, and then reinstall them on the gutter downspouts. If any of your gutters are damaged or blocked by debris, fix it right away—don’t wait until the next time you clean out your gutters!
Clean your windows and storm windows inside and out
After cleaning your windows, it's time to clean your storm windows. If you have double-hung windows, use a cloth or newspaper to clean the tracks.
If you have storm windows, use a lint-free cloth and spray water on them before wiping them down with another damp cloth (or newspaper). After cleaning both sides of the glass, make sure no water drips inside by using a squeegee on each side of each pane as well as around any hardware (such as locks) before letting them dry completely.
Keeping your fall home maintenance checklist up to date will help you stay on top of all the things that need to be done in order to keep your home in good shape.
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