Pre-Winter Home Maintenance Checklist


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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  • 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 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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