When the days start getting shorter and the weather is getting cold, you know, summer is over and it's time for your fall cleaning. Cleaning your home in the fall is about a new beginning, and getting your family prepared for the upcoming seasons.
When it comes to your real estate, now is the time to start thinking about getting your outdoors ready for winter’s frost. Use fall's brisk and breezy days to conquer deep-cleaning chores for a clean and comfortable winter home, and to wrap up summer's outdoor lifestyle.
Fall is the perfect time to take care of the little things that can make a big difference for you and your home.
Outside the house:
- Clean and store patio furniture, umbrellas, children's summer toys.
- Touch up paint on trim, railings and decks. Use a wire brush to remove flaking paint; prime bare wood first.
- Check caulk around windows and doors. Button up your overcoat. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.
- Inspect external doors and garage doors. Do they close tightly? Install weather-stripping, door thresholds if needed.
- Wash exterior windows.
- Drain and store garden hoses. Install insulating covers on exterior spigots. In hard-freeze areas, have sprinkler systems blown free of water.
- Check gutters and downspouts. Clear of debris if necessary. In cold-weather areas, consider installing heating cable to prevent ice dams.
- Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned if necessary.
- Get on top of roof problems. Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.
- Walks the walks (and drives). Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps.
- Chill out. Drain and winterize outdoor faucets and irrigation systems.
- Freshen your filter. Clean or replace dirty furnace filters.
- Give your furnace a physical. Have a professional inspect your heating system.
- Gather round the hearth. Check fireplaces for soot or creosote build-up. Better yet, schedule a visit from a reputable chimney sweep.
- Keep the humidifier humming. Clean the plates or pads to ensure efficient operation.
- Head-off gas problems. If you have a gas-fired room heater, have it inspected by a pro. Also, perform any routine maintenance recommended by the maker.
- Keep the wood fires burning brightly. Wood stoves are making a comeback. To avoid a deadly situation, be sure to inspect yours before firing it up.
- Keep your family safe at home. A home safety check should be an annual ritual in every household. Test smoke and CO monitors, inspect (or install) fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans, and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards.
- Mice prevention. Trim tree branches so none come within six feet of your house and keep the areas around your house clean and free of trash, woodpiles or dense weeds. There are many 'green' remedies for getting rid of rodents. Try throwing mothballs around the footing of your house, or strategically place cloths sprinkled with peppermint oil around the foundation of your home. Apple cider vinegar is said to eliminate them as well. Seal all cracks and holes on the outside of your house. If the hole is large enough, trying stuffing it with steel wool before you seal it.
- Lawn fertilizer. To help fuel your grass' recovery for next spring, you’ll need to fertilize your turf.
Inside the house:
You spend most of the time indoors when the weather gets cold, so the more you do now to clean and arrange your space, the more pleasant it will be for the cold season.
- Focus on public rooms: living room, family room, entryway, guest bath.
- Clean from top to bottom. Vacuum drapes and window treatments. Clean window sills and window wells. Vacuum baseboards and corners.
- Vacuum upholstered furniture, or have professionally cleaned if needed. Move furniture and vacuum beneath and behind it.
- Wash interior windows.
- Turn mattresses front-to-back and end-to-end to equalize wear.
- Launder or clean all bedding: mattress pads, pillows, duvets, blankets, comforters. Tuck the family into a warm and cozy winter bed.
- Schedule professional carpet cleaning early this month! Warm October afternoons speed carpet drying. Carpet cleaning firms get busy by the end of October, so schedule now for best service.
- Prepare the kitchen for holiday cooking. Clean and organized kitchen cabinets, paying particular attention to baking supplies, pans and equipment.
- Clear kitchen counters of all appliances not used within the last week. Clear counters look cleaner--and provide more room for holiday cooking.
- Pull refrigerator away from the wall, and vacuum the condenser coils. For bottom-mounted coils, use a long, narrow brush to clean coils of dust and debris.
- Wash light-diffusing bowls from light fixtures.
- Inspect each appliance. Does it need supplies? Stock up on softener salt now, and avoid staggering over icy sidewalks with heavy bags.
- Check and empty the central vacuum's collection area.
- Clean electronic air cleaner elements monthly for most efficient operation. Wash them in an empty dishwasher (consult manual for specific product recommendations).
- Clean or replace humidifier elements before the heating season begins.
- Inspect washer hoses for bulges, cracks or splits. Replace them every other year.
- Check dryer exhaust tube and vent for built-up lint, debris or birds' nests! Make sure the exterior vent door closes tightly when not in use.
- Schedule fall furnace inspections now. Don't wait for the first cold night!
- Buy a winter's supply of furnace filters. Change filters monthly for maximum energy savings and indoor comfort. When the right filter is on hand, it's an easy job!
- Drain sediment from hot water heaters.
- Ewer, Cynthia. "Fall Cleaninig Chore Checklist". organizedhome.com. <http://organizedhome.com/seasonal-spin/fall-cleaning-chore-checklist>
- Eco-safe fall maintenance projects. http://www.remonline.com/eco-safe-fall-maintenance-projects/
Home selling in fall is the second best time of the year to sell a home. Families have returned from summer vacations. Kids have gone back to school. If you need help to sell your home, contact me. I can provide you with exceptional services and market your home, condo or commercial building to its fullest potential.
Re/Max Rouge River Realty Ltd., Brokerage
905-668-1800 or 905-427-1400