There’s always a lot of talk of spring cleaning but we often forget how important it is to do outdoor fall cleaning and maintenance as well. Unfortunately, many of us, me included, wait until it is chilly outside before we suddenly kick into high gear and try to get everything done. Here’s a checklist to help you get started with your fall outdoor maintenance and cleaning:
Windows, Doors and Roof
• Wash windows and tracks.
• Remove screens to vacuum or wash in warm soapy water and store them for the winter.
• Install storm windows, as required.
• Wash front steps and landing, railing, mailbox and front door to remove dust and cobwebs that have accumulated over the summer.
• Install storm doors, particularly if you live in very humid or cold environment.
• Clean your roof’s gutters and downspouts and check the roof for any damage. If it needs any repairs, you will likely want it taken care of now, before ice damming causes leaks and damage.
• While you are up on the ladder cleaning the gutters, you might as well hang your Christmas lights.
Appliances and Tools
• Clean out dryer vents; accumulated lint can be the cause of dryer fires.
• Turn off your air conditioner and cover it up with a tarp or air conditioner cover. Most systems have an on/off switch on the unit outdoors and you can also turn off the breaker on your electrical panel inside.
• Clean out the HRV/ERV inlet on the side or back of the house (indoors you can clean or replace the HRV/ERV and furnace filters).
• If your kitchen oven hood fan exhausts outdoors, clean out the outlet.
• Clean out and organize your garage or shed so that you can easily access the tools and snow removal implements that you’ll need over the next several months.
• Take your snow blower in for servicing now rather than wait until they are swamped after the first snowfall.
• You might also want to bring in your lawnmower for servicing now so that it is ready to go in the spring.
Around the Yard
• Sweep, hose down or power wash the driveway, walkways, decks and porches.
• Use warm soapy water to clean garden furniture and outdoor toys before storing them.
• Visually inspect the perimeter of your house for any signs of insects and rodents that might be trying to find a warm, cozy spot to spend the colder months.
• Prepare your lawn and garden for winter by following the steps outlined here a few weeks ago.
• Once all the washing up is done, drain your garden hose, store it for the winter and turn off the outdoor water supply.
There is plenty to do around the house and yard to get your home in top shape for the fall and winter but if your start your home improvements now, you should easily be able to get them all done before it gets too cold out.
You might also like to read these related posts: Outdoor Maintenance and Spring Cleaning, Garden and Yard Spring Cleanup, Preparing Your Lawn and Garden for Fall and Winter, The Right Snow Removal Tools, How To Winterize Your Backyard Pond.