Thursday, 16 September 2010

Prepare your home for the autumn.

Fall is an ideal time to spruce up your home. With kids going back to school and starting a new year, look at autumn as a fresh start for your house, too.

Some once-a-year cleaning projects should be done more often. Windows build up a lot of dirt and grime during the summer. Washing windows inside and out in the spring and in the fall will brighten up your house.

Use these guidelines to clean and prepare your house for winter. Then sit back with a cup of cocoa and enjoy the season.


1. Wash your windows inside and especially outside.The summer can be just as harsh on windows as the winter. Don’t wait until spring to give your whole house a brighter outlook by washing your windows.

2. Before you store your patio furniture and children’s outdoor toys, wash them off and cover them in plastic or old bed sheets.

3. Check the caulk, seals and weather stripping around all windows and doors and repair as needed. Wipe down window wells and ledges. Hose and wipe down exterior doors.

4. Drain and store garden hoses. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, have it professionally blown out and winterized.

5. Check gutters and downspouts and clear out debris, to avoid ice dams.

6. Clean out your garage and hose out all the summer dirt and grime.

7. Install storm windows and doors if you have them. Consider purchasing storm windows if you have older windows that are not made from modern insulated glass.

8. Replace any roof shingles that are missing or damaged

9. Trim trees away from the house. Have dead trees and branches removed by professional tree trimmers, or do it yourself.

10. Check walls and fences for signs of wear, and repair any loose panels or holes. Wobbly paving stones can also be secured, but ensure you choose a dry spell to do any cementing.


1. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected, cleaned and ready for winter use.

2. Change your furnace filters for cleaner air and a more efficient heating system.

3. Fall is a good time to replace batteries in your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and other home safety devices.

4. Get your beds ready for a cozy winter. Fall is also a good time to do twice-annual mattress turns. Flip your mattress this fall and next spring, turn it end-to-end. Launder or dry clean all bedding you don’t do every week, such as mattress pads, pillows, blankets, bed skirts and bedspreads.

5. Schedule a professional carpet cleaning or rent a carpet cleaner and do it yourself.

6. Clean out your kitchen cupboards and pantry, paying particular attention to baking supplies, pans and equipment that you’ll need for holiday baking.

7. Pull your refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer out from the wall and clean behind them (and retrieve any long lost socks!). Brush dust off of refrigerator coils and use a narrow vacuum hose attachment to clean inside the lint catcher of your dryer.

8. Install or replace weather stripping on all doors and windows. Check for cracks around pipes and electrical outlets entering or exiting the walls.

9. Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating/air-conditioning professional. Most furnace manufacturers recommend at least annual inspections.

10. Check fire extinguishers and charge and replace as necessary.


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