Pre-Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

home-maintenance-gutter-cleaning

Other areas of the country are enjoying fall right now. But here in Colorado, we know the kind of weather that’s going to hit us in just a few months. That’s why I think this time of year is more accurately called “pre-winter.”

Investing a little time in preventive home maintenance is always a good idea, and that’s especially true during pre-winter. Aside from helping ensure your home runs smoothly, it also lets you find and address any potential problems before they get big and expensive. Below is a checklist you can complete before year-end.


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Indoors

  • Examine ceiling and surfaces around windows for signs of moisture
  • Inspect caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases
  • Check stairs and railings to ensure all sections are secure
  • Test all fire and safety systems, including carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries if needed

Heating Systems

  • Replace furnace filters (if you’ve never done it before, check out this article and video from HVAC.com for a how-to)
  • Move items to maintain a clear area around heating/cooling equipment
  • If you have a hot water-heat (boiler) system, check the water level and shut-off valve for leaks

Electrical Systems

  • Circuit breakers prevent overheating, fire, and explosion, but only if they’re working…so now is a good time to test yours (here’s a great resource on how to do this with an inexpensive multimeter)
  • GFCIs prevent electrocution, but their circuitry tends to fail after roughly 10 years…so now is a good time to test yours and replace if needed (here’s how)

Windows and Doors

  • Loose weatherstripping lets in cold air and moisture, raising your heating costs and potentially causing damage; check all windows and doors and replace any worn weatherstripping
  • Cracked or broken window panes reduce insulation and energy efficiency; check and replace as needed

Water and Plumbing

  • Check all exterior faucets, hose bibs and supply valves for leaking
  • Check inside for leaks around and under sinks, showers, toilets and tubs
  • Inspect the sprinkler system for leaky valves and exposed lines, then winterize
  • Check the main water shut-off valve to ensure it operates smoothly and has no leaks

Gutters and Roof

  • Clean gutters, leaf strainers, and downspouts
  • Trim back all tree limbs and vegetation away from the roof

Exterior and Foundation

  • Check basement and crawlspace for moisture and leaks
  • Inspect all decks, patios, porches, stairs and railings for deterioration; stain/seal as needed
  • Cut back and trim all vegetation from structures

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