Fall 2021 checklist: Have you done the following tasks?

These are the items you’ll want to check off your to-do list in the coming weeks

Fall is here!
Fall is here! (Pexels stock image)

It’s time, once again, to begin getting your house ready for the onset of colder weather.

Much of the routine maintenance that needs to be done in the fall will not only prepare you as our temperatures drop, but could also save you some money on repairs, and protect your biggest investment— your home.

The following checklist, provided by Farm Bureau Insurance, details routine maintenance that could prevent damage to your home and your budget.

Each year, the company said, it creates a fall checklist, updated to make sure that you home is safe, secure, and ready for the fall and beyond.

Without further ado:

Interior maintenance

Ask yourself the following questions. Have you ...

□ Checked for drafts? You’ll want to feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. Light a candle to test, Farm Bureau advised, adding that if the flame flickers, there’s a draft.

□ Changed air filters? To maximize energy savings and safety, have your furnace inspected and filters changed, Farm Bureau recommended.

□ Covered or winterized your air conditioning? If your home has central air conditioning, it’s good practice to cover your outdoor unit for winter.

□ Bought a programmable thermostat? That will help you monitor temperature settings.

□ Checked the dryer vents for rips or holes? You should vacuum or brush out lint in the dryer hose and around the lint screen, Farm Bureau said.

□ Tested your home safety devices? You’ll want to replace batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices.

□ Cleaned your humidifiers? It’s important to replace old filters and clean inside the compartment. Vinegar works well, Farm Bureau advised.

□ Visually checked the interior structure of your home? Changes in the foundation, in the basement, cracks in the wall, or unleveled floors should be checked out by professionals before snow starts to fall, the experts said.

Exterior maintenance

Ask yourself the following questions. Have you ...

□ Remembered the roof? You should perform a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Look for any missing, damaged or loose shingles.

□ Checked your chimney and fireplace? Especially if you use it often or own a wood stove, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional, Farm Bureau recommended.

□ Inspected your siding? You’ll want to examine your home’s exterior, looking for cracks or holes.

□ Cleaned the gutters? You could hire a service or do it yourself to remove leaves, nests and any other debris. Be sure to check for leaks, too.

□ Checked the water drainage? Rainwater downspouts should be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways and driveways, according to Farm Bureau.

□ Checked for cracks? Cracks in concrete or asphalt can expand and cause more damage and trip hazards in the winter months.

□ Turned off faucets and stored hoses? You should drain garden hoses and disconnect them from outside spigots, Farm Bureau experts said.

□ Serviced your sprinklers and irrigation system?

□ Inspected trees? It’s smart to check for damaged limbs that may break -- or that are too close to power lines or the roof.

□ Pruned your plants? You’ll want to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house. This prevents wind damage and moisture from dripping onto your roofing and siding, according to Farm Bureau.

□ Moved flower pots? If you keep plants or flowers in pots year-round, you should bring them inside. If you replace plants every year, it’s good to empty, clean and dry the pots, then put them away for next spring.

□ Removed leaves? You’ll want to rake and remove leaves. Place them in a compost pile, if you have one.

□ Fertilized your lawn? Applying lawn fertilizer in the fall helps prevent winter damage and spring weeds, according to Farm Bureau.

□ Stored your seasonal furniture?

□ Reorganized your heavy outdoor equipment and emptied fuel tanks?

□ Closed the pool?

In the garage/shed

Ask yourself the following questions. Have you ...

□ Organized the shed? It’s smart to move summer items to the back and winter items up front for better access, Farm Bureau advised. Plus, remove any liquids that will freeze.

□ Serviced your summer power equipment? Empty the fuel and clean the lawnmower and trimmer. Have your lawnmower blades sharpened and the oil changed, too.

□ Stored your summer vehicles? If you have a motorcycle, summer car, ATV or other seasonal vehicle, arrange to have it serviced, Farm Bureau recommended.

□ Prepared your winter equipment? Think about servicing your snow blower and making sure it is ready to use when needed.

□ Tested your generator? If you have an emergency generator for power outages, give it a test to ensure it’s in good working order.

□ Bought gasoline? Experts said to purchase some extra gas to have on hand for your snow blower or generator, in case of emergencies. (And always store gasoline in tanks away from fire sources and out of children’s reach!)

□ Cleaned your garage? Since you’re in the garage prepping for fall, you might as well purge, organize and clean it, while you’re there, Farm Bureau said.

Learn more about Farm Bureau Insurance.