Seasonal cleaning isn’t just about refreshing your space for spring. There are a lot of cleanup tasks you need to keep in mind for the cold months. As the leaves start to fall and the days get shorter, here are some things you should check off the chores list for fall cleaning.
1. Pack in the outdoors
If you have patio furniture, play sets, pool fixtures, or other outdoor furnishings, don’t let them linger until the last minute. Outdoor fixture materials like wood and metal take on more damage and wear if they’re exposed to the cold, so give each piece a good cleaning, put a coat of protective seal on wood and metal, and then shift it all into storage.
2. A good time to paint
If you haven’t taken advantage of the sunny summer to put a fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior, it’s a good idea to touch up the details before the winter weather makes it impractical. Even if you’re not doing a full paint job, small touch-up on railings, decks and other trim pieces is a good idea, as the paint will protect these fixtures from the rain, sleet, snow, and cold.
3. Seal doors and windows
Homes lose a lot of heat during the winter to improperly sealed doors and windows. Large gaps and worn caulk are usually the main culprits, but simple items like a small caulking gun and even a properly sized doormat can make a big difference. You can also look into weather stripping for doors and windows that don’t close very tightly. A little extra prep can save you big bucks on heating bills in the middle of winter.
4. Water protection
Your garden hose won’t get much use during the cold months, but there may be water left over in the tubing from summer. Drain, wrap and store the hose before it gets cold enough to potentially freeze the water inside and damage the inner walls.
Likewise, you should give your gutters a good cleaning, even if fall is the prime debris season. This is also a good time to install heating cables in the gutters. A decent line of 100 feet should cost you less than $100, but even the pricier versions are nothing compared to replacement gutters in the case of breakage from ice build-up.
5. Interior attention
In addition to standard indoor cleaning, especially in the most commonly used spaces, there are some winter-specific indoor cleaning measures you’ll want to consider. Clean any chimney, hearth, or flue fixtures in preparation for fresh use in the winter, and pay extra attention to the interior and exterior of any heat registers.
Accumulated dust can burn and produce unpleasant smells when turning on a heater for the first time in several months. Also, do maintenance checks on your heating system, water heater, and humidity control appliances, so everything is in good working order when you need them most.
Planing a deep clean is all about being prepared for a new season. Outdoors and inside, tackle the chores now, and you’ll be free to enjoy the beauty of autumn.