TIPS + TOOLS

Your last-minute checklist for remaining fall maintenance

November 27, 2017

If the last few snow flurries didn’t give you a jolt, here’s a final reminder to get that last-minute outside maintenance done to properly prepare your home for winter. There are certain tasks that are very important to do to prevent damage. If you haven’t done any of these yet, we urge you to get them done now!

  1. Drain your hoses, detach them from the hose bibs (exterior faucets) and store them away for the winter. Then make sure your exterior faucets are turned off and drained of any standing water. Failure to do so could cause the pipes to freeze and burst, leading to a leak inside your home.
  2. Check your chimneys for obstructions such as nests. If you have a wood-burning fireplace and like to use it in the winter, be sure to have your chimney professionally cleaned. Creosote buildups can be hazardous, possibly leading to a chimney fire.
  3. Turn over any rain barrels and bird baths or store them indoors. Store any ornaments or statues that can’t weather freeze-and-thaw cycles indoors or cover them with a plastic garbage bag (secured in place with a bungee cord).
  4. Bring any ornaments, birdhouses, trellises, etc. that need repairs or freshening up to a spot where you can access them later for a winter rejuvenation project.
  5. Continue to water recently planted trees or shrubs until the ground freezes. Their root system is not well enough developed to secure a winter’s supply of moisture.
  6. If you’re going to hang Christmas lights, do double duty and check your eavestroughs for debris at the same time.
  7. Remove interior window screens so that heat from registers can better reach the windows and minimize the moisture buildup that can lead to mould.
  8. If you have not yet winterized your landscaping, for example storing your outdoor furniture and protecting young plants for winter, better do it now.
  9. This is the time of year when outdoor critters look for a warm place for the winter. If you suspect any have taken residence in your home, call in a professional for removal.
  10. Make sure your shovels, etc., are within reach of your doors so they’re easier to grab when you need them.