Cooler weather is on the way! Take advantage of the early days of fall and prepare the outside of your home for the cold months ahead. This handy checklist can help you make sure you don’t miss any nooks or crannies.
1. Pack and Store Patio Furniture and Accessories
Make sure to clean all patio furniture well (including cushions) before storing it. Use a solution of Dawn Ultra Dish Soap and warm water to wipe down plastic or resin patio furniture, and remove scuffs and stuck-on grime with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Let all furniture pieces air-dry thoroughly, and then store them in a closed storage unit. Use covers to protect the furniture frames.
2. Organize and Clean the Garage
Spend some time tidying up your garage or shed while the weather is still nice.
- Pull as many items as you can out into the driveway and give the garage floor a good cleaning
- Organize equipment and other stored items as you put them back, making sure to get rid of any items you no longer want or use
- Store away summer sports equipment, and get your winter gear front and center
- Use a Swiffer 360 Dusters Heavy Duty Super Extender to trap and lock dust and cobwebs that have accumulated on the garage ceiling – it extends up to 6 feet to make this task quick and easy!
3. Store Seasonal Outdoor Toys
If you have kids, clean all toys before storing them away to help prevent mould and mildew. Once spring rolls around, pulling out warm-weather toys will be a much quicker task.
4. Clean and Weatherproof Your Deck
Apply a sealant or new coat of exterior paint to your wood deck for added protection against the rain and snow.
5. Check the Roof
From the ground, visually inspect your roof for signs of damage like loose or missing shingles. Have the roof checked by a professional if you see anything concerning.
6. Weatherproof Your Doors and Windows
Add weather stripping around the doors, making sure you can’t see any daylight when looking through the door from the inside. And don’t forget about the windows! Check the areas around them for gaps and cracks, and apply caulk as needed.
7. Prepare Outdoor Faucets
Disconnect garden hoses and drain any water that still remains in the faucet. Water in pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst. Install insulating covers to outdoor faucets if you live in a colder climate.
8. Prepare and Store Yard and Garden Equipment
After the last use of the season, give all larger gardening equipment a thorough cleaning using a damp cloth, and clean hand tools with a solution of Dawn Ultra Dish Soap and warm water. Just add a teaspoon of Dawn to a gallon of hot water, and use a dishrag or sponge to scrub away the grease and oil. (Don’t soak hand tools in this solution.) Then rinse them under running water and dry them with a towel right away. Make sure the tools are thoroughly dried to prevent rusting.
- Keep tools as far away as possible from wetness or moisture, or cover them with a tarp
- Safely remove any unused gasoline from the lawn mower
9. Check the Gutters
Clean the drainpipe and gutters of leaves and other debris to prevent clogging. If drains are not cleaned adequately, water can back up against the house and lead to leaks, or damage roofing, siding and wood trim.
10. Don’t Forget About the Grill
Give your grill a thorough cleaning with Dawn Ultra Dish Soap and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser before covering and storing it for the winter. Be sure to scrape down grates, wipe down knobs and clean the inside of the lid, too.
While it might seem like a lot to do at first, just remember: Finishing all these tasks early will give you peace of mind so you can enjoy the fleeting days of fall – and the upcoming winter – without worrying about your outdoor space.
How are you prepping your outdoor space for the fall and winter? Log in or register to share your tips and suggestions in the comments section.