We don’t mean to alarm you, but it’s fall! 

Cool weather and shorter days mean winter is on its way, but you need not fear the cold weather if your home is properly prepared. And that’s what this list is for. It’s your ultimate autumn home maintenance checklist. Do these 15 things and your home will be more than ready for the ravages of winter. 

1. Take care of your trees and shrubs. 

Consider hiring an arborist to give your trees and shrubs a check up and show you the proper way to prune them to avoid falling limbs during those strong winter storms. Trim the dead branches out of them, maybe get them some vaccinations (yes, trees get vaccines).

2. Rake your leaves.

Yes, that carpet of leaves does look beautiful, but a thick layer of leaves under a thicker layer of snow can inhibit growth come spring. So, rake ‘em up, bag ‘em up and leave them on the curb for composting. 

3. Clean your eavestroughs.

Clogged eavestroughs can cause all sorts of damage to a house, so it’s important to make sure they are clear and free flowing. Don’t forget the downspouts, too. 

4. Repair what needs to be fixed.

Do a home walk around and take note of any signs of damage to your roof, the siding and the foundation of your home. If you see anything screaming out to be repaired, schedule it to be fixed before winter hits. 

5. Seal gaps.

Animals also seek shelter from the cold weather, which means invading your nice, warm home. Mice need just a minute opening to squeeze into your house. Fill small holes and cover large gaps with hardware cloth. 

6. Check walkways.

Walking anywhere in winter is hazardous, so before the ice covers everything, check that your stairs and walkways are in good condition with sturdy railings. It’s also good to make sure your driveway is in good condition for easier shovelling. 

7. Get stocked up on winter supplies.

In Calgary, we get a lot of snow, so make sure you have a good quality snow shovel, your ice scrapers are chip-free and you have full bags of pet- and plant-safe ice melt. Restock emergency kits for both car and home and make sure your snowblower is up to snuff.

8. Turn off the water.  

Shut off exterior faucets and store the hoses somewhere indoors. Insulate pipes that require insulation. 

9. Apply weatherstripping.

Add weatherstripping around window frames and doors and use door sweeps at the base of drafty doors. 

10. Inspect safety devices.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries if required. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace it if necessary. Check your home for radon gas and, if necessary, hire someone to fix any radon issues you may find.

11. Put the A/C units away. 

If you have a window or temporary A/C unit, remove them and put them into storage. If removing a window A/C unit is impossible, cover the entire outside portion with insulating wrap.  You won’t be wanting to think about A/C for a long time now.

12. Clean dryer vents. 

Now is the time to make sure your dryer is working efficiently and take care of a potential fire hazard by cleaning the dryer vent. You can do it yourself or hire a professional to do it. 

13. Give your kitchen a thorough cleaning.

Degrease the range hood, clean the oven, vacuum your refrigerator’s coils, scrub the tile grout, clean the light fixtures, wash walls and backsplash, wash the garbage can and recycling bins and clean the fridge, microwave and other small appliances. 

14. Get an energy audit done. 

A trained energy auditor can assess how efficient your home is and give you a list of recommended improvements to make it more efficient. If you prefer to do it yourself, you can find instructions online for conducting your own energy audit.

15. Schedule heating system maintenance. 

Get your chimney and furnace or boiler cleaned and running at peak performance before you need to use them and put a chimney cap on to keep out those warmth-seeking critters.

If you’re planning on leaving town this fall, get some rolling shutters for added security. Contact us to talk about your rolling shutter or awning needs.

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