Who knew there were so many chores to prepare your home for fall in Ohio? We've created a list of do-it-yourself (DIY) tips — in no particular order to help you get started. More suggestions can be found on your favorite home improvement sites, such as House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens, Bob Vila.
- Clean and/or replace gutters.
- Check for drafts/air leaks in the home, basement, and garage, and seal any problem areas with weatherstripping or caulk.
- Remove garden hoses and drain any outdoor faucet(s) to prevent freezing. Busted water pipes are costly to fix or replace.
- Clean and move outdoor furniture to an inside storage area or cover the furniture with something waterproof so it will last for years of enjoyment to come.
- Fix cracks in any concrete areas, such as in the driveway, patio, etc. If any water freezes in the cracks, they will become much wider to the point that you may need to have your cement professionally replaced after cold weather subsides.
- Clean and repair screens, spray them with a protective coating, and store them in a dry area of the basement or garage. Prevent leaves, water, and other clutter from filling your window wells and potentially breaking the windows and flooding the basement by installing a cover, which can be purchased and most home improvement stores.
- Change furnace filters. Ideally, this should be done monthly but at the very least quarterly.
- Maintain a humidifier(s). Not only does dry winter air cause tough skin, but it can also make fine wood prone to cracking. Inspect the plates or pads on your humidifiers, and if necessary, clean them in a strong laundry detergent solution. You can rinse and scrape off mineral deposits with a wire brush or steel wool.
- Change the direction of any ceiling fans to create an upward draft that will redistribute warm air from the ceiling down.
- Have the furnace checked by a licensed contractor to ensure it works properly when it's needed, and if applicable, prepare the fireplace and/or wood-burning furnace or stove, including cleaning chimneys.
For more detailed information, including helpful videos in some cases, visit the Resources referenced below.