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A Fall Cleaning Checklist Protects Your Home This Winter

Fall might not seem that close but its always good to get started prepping your home before that cold chill sets in.

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Fall Cleaning for Your Home's Exterior

Wind, snow, ice, and freezing temperatures may blast the outside of your house this winter. Clean several key areas to protect your house's siding, roof and foundation.

  • Clean the gutters and downspouts. Remove debris, leaves and sticks so that water from melting ice and snow can flow away from your home. This task can reduce damage to your home's roof, siding and foundation.
  • Inspect and clean off the roof. Look for damaged shingles, bows and warps. Then, schedule repairs to prevent further damage from winter temperature fluctuations and moisture.
  • Seal the doors and windows. Remove worn caulking and replace the weather seals around all the doors and windows of your home. You'll improve energy efficiency and save money with this cleaning tip.
  • Clear the dryer exhaust vent and ducts. Trapped lint can cause a fire. Your dryer will also operate more efficiently when the exhaust system is clear.
  • Repair the walkways and stairs. Secure loose stepping stones or railings, and provide a smooth walking surface to reduce slips and falls.
  • Replace exterior light bulbs. Ensure your family and guests can see clearly as they walk around your property and enter your home.
  • Wash the exterior of your home and walkways. Remove algae, mold and dirt that can discolor siding. This cleaning project also prepares your home for pre-winter paint touch-ups.

Fall Cleaning for Your Lawn and Landscaping

Your lawn and landscaping are an important part of your property. Spruce up your property in time for winter weather and snow removal season.

  • Scrub and store outside furniture and toys. Your outdoor furniture and toys will last longer when they're cleaned and stored properly during harsh winter weather. Complete this task to prevent loose objects from slamming into your home and damaging your property during wind storms, too.
  • Clean the landscaping. Pull weeds, mow the lawn and trim shrubs and trees. Not only will your property look nice, but these tasks can reduce flooding and property damage due to winter storms.
  • Drain and store water hoses. Your outdoor hoses will last longer when they don't freeze over winter.
  • Inspect snow removal tools and install stakes. Be sure your snowblower and shovels are ready to get to work. The stakes can also mark property edges and protect your landscaping and snow removal tools.

Some of these tips involve an investment of time and money to make the change to more energy- or water-efficient vs just changing one or two habits but it can be worth the effort.

Fall Cleaning Checklist for Your Home's Interior

Plan to complete a few cleaning projects indoors as you secure your home for the upcoming winter season. A clean interior can also protect your health as you and your family spend more time inside.

  • Inspect and clean the chimney. Look for obstructions and cracks that can compromise your safety. Also, remove creosote and soot buildup that could ignite into a fire.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, replace the smoke detectors older than 10 years and the CO detectors if they're older than six years.
  • Refill or replace the fire extinguishers. Ideally, hang a fire extinguisher on each floor and in the kitchen.
  • Replace the furnace and air filters. Ensure the air you breathe is clean and fresh.
  • Clean and reset your ceiling fans. Wipe off all the dirt and set the fans to circulate air upward and keep your home warmer.
  • Vacuum the floors, wipe off baseboards and dust furniture. Improve indoor air quality to protect your family and pets.
  • Wash linens and blankets. Reduce indoor allergens as you rest and relax this winter.

Before winter weather arrives, clean your home inside and out. This fall cleaning checklist helps you remember all the essential tasks that protect your home and keep your family healthy. For added protection and peace of mind, update your home insurance policy, too.

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