Fall maintenance checklist to get your home’s exterior ready for Old Man Winter


A person cleaning leaves out of a roof gutter with a gardening shovel

Leaves turning brilliant colors mean one thing: Old Man Winter will be here soon. Now is the time for exterior home maintenance to avoid big hassles later. Plus, you’ll save money in the long run. Tackle these seven tasks before the snow flies to keep your house in peak condition.

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts once most of the leaves have fallen. Water that can’t move through the gutter system can create damaging ice dams and pooling around your foundation.
  2. Inspect your roof for missing or loose shingles. Make necessary repairs sooner rather than later when water is leaking into your house.
  3. Seal gaps to keep out cold as well as mice seeking a warm place to spend the winter. (Did you know a mouse can squeeze through a space as small as a one-quarter inch?!) Seal around windows, doors, foundation, vents, eaves, gables, and around holes where electric and cable lines, plumbing, and gas lines enter the house.
  4. Trim trees and shrubs that are too close to the house or power lines—or that could cause damage if weighted down by snow or ice. Be smart about your abilities if you DIY. Call an insured pro to handle the job if in doubt.
  5. Check walkways and stairs for anything that could create a hazard when icy. Make sure handrails are secure.
  6. Turn off water valves to exterior faucets and allow them to run until the pipes are empty. Water left in the pipes can freeze and damage pipes.
  7. Have your snow blower serviced and get fuel so you’re ready to go when the driveway and walk are covered with snow.

Next Monday, we’ll have tips for getting your home’s interior ready for Old Man Winter.

Consumers helps more than 1,000 members finance their homes each year. When you need a mortgage or home equity line of credit for your home improvements, call us at 800-991-2221. We’re here to help you get the home of your dreams!


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