Get Your Home Cold-Weather Ready with Our Fall Maintenance Checklist

Home Safety

Safety comes first, so be sure to take a survey of your home’s features. Replace batteries in every smoke and carbon monoxide detector, and use one of your vacuum’s attachments to gently suction any dust on and around the devices. Check the expiration dates on fire extinguishers (at least one on each floor of your home), the pressure gauge to be sure it falls within the green area, and for any nozzle or hose cracks. If your home is equipped with a security system, run a self-diagnostic to be sure everything is working properly.

Prevent Drafts

No one likes a drafty house, and thankfully it’s easy to prevent. Replace old or cracked weather stripping around doors and the garage door, and re-caulk around windows as needed. Be sure all the warm air stays inside to keep your home cozy and your energy bills down.

Check the Roof

Living in the wet Pacific Northwest, having an airtight roof is essential. The last thing you want to address is a leaking roof in the middle of a rainy winter. Do a physical inspection of your roof from end to end, replacing any missing or damaged shingles or tiles along the way. Clean off leaves and any other debris, and apply a moss killing agent to problem areas. While you’re up there, clear out leaves and dirt from the gutters to prevent clogging.

Get HVAC Serviced

Unless you’re well versed in your home’s heating system, we recommend calling a licensed HVAC contractor for a bi-annual service and cleaning. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention-take care of any potential issues now to prevent a serious malfunction later when it’s cold outside.

Check the Fireplace

Who doesn’t love cozying up by a fire during winter? Keep your fireplace or wood-burning stove working properly and safely. Hire a licensed contractor to check the gas line and for a full chimney sweep.

Maintain Interior Air Quality

A home’s interior can easily become unhealthy and uncomfortable during the fall and winter when closed windows and doors can reduce ventilation. Keep the air clean and fresh by replacing air filters, having the ducts and dryer vents cleaned, and wiping down grills, vents, and exhaust fans.

Prep the Yard

Just when you thought it’s time to take a well-deserved break from the yard maintenance, now it’s time for cold-weather prep! What you do now will ensure a lovely landscape come spring, so be sure to rake up fallen leaves, aerate the soil, and apply a fertilizer to the grass. Check the driveway and walkways for any cracks and make any necessary repairs.

Winterize the Exterior

Northwest winters are relatively temperate, but we occasionally get temperatures cold enough to do some damage. Prevent frozen and bursting pipes by closing valves to outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems. Purchase or fashion protective sleeves to exposed water pipes, and drain and stow garden hoses. Close shut-off valves that serve outdoor faucets and water sprinkler lines. Remove and drain garden hoses and store them in a dry place, and install sleeves to exposed water pipes. Install covers on pool, spa, and AC unit to keep them safe and protected until ready to use again.


Taking the time now to perform preventative maintenance on your home will keep it running smoothly and safely in the months ahead. If you’re a Renaissance Homes homeowner and have home maintenance questions, please contact our Service Department at 503-213-6806.