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Fall Cleaning Checklist for Your House

Household Cleaning

Cleaning up the yard and garden during the fall is a great way to stay ahead of the game before the weather changes and it becomes too cold to work outdoors. It will make the transition to spring much easier as well.

Wondering about the best tasks and fall cleaning tips to get the yard ready for the fall season? Keep reading for all our foolproof ideas on fall prep, including:

What is Fall Cleaning?

Fall cleaning is done to prepare the house and yard for the coming winter months. Often by the time fall starts to roll around, the dust and dirt from spring and summer months are really starting to take a toll on patios, yards and outdoor furniture. Take advantage of the occasional cooler temperatures and get outside to give outdoor spaces a good scrubbing, preparing for the cold dormant winter months ahead. The best part is that just a little prep now will save a lot of time and work in the future.

When is Fall Cleaning?

Fall cleaning is usually done in the autumn months of September and October. These months are perfect to tackle seasonal tasks because as daily temps start to drop, spending a few hours in the yard is more tolerable. It’s wise to take care of these end-of-summer chores before the weather gets too cool, as washing out garbage cans on a freezing day is not a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon! Plan a weekend or two to get out there and check the following tasks off the list.

Fall Cleaning Checklist

Hose Down Patio Furniture Before Storing

Putting away dirty or dusty patio furniture only ensures a more time-consuming and difficult reentry in a few months. Be sure to hose down the tops and undersides of all furniture, removing cushions and pillows to thoroughly clean (as long as they’re weatherproof and waterproof). Use a gentle soap and warm water if scrubbing is necessary.

Leave everything in the sun to completely dry to avoid rust or mildew. Once all the pieces are dry, store neatly in the corner of the garage, basement or storage shed. Covering with fitted furniture covers is ideal, but not always necessary as long as everything is clean and dry before storing.

It is important to put furniture in a dry indoor spot before winter hits. While most metal furniture is coated for weather resistance, storing wrought iron and plastic furniture indoors will help prevent rust and cracks.

Install Insulating Covers on Exterior Faucets

If you live in an area or region that gets particularly cold during the winter season, installing insulating covers on all exterior faucets may save you from frozen or exploding pipes on extremely cold days. Find insulation to wrap pipes at any local hardware store.

To install outdoor faucet insulation covers, purchase either an insulated cloth sack style or a Styrofoam wrap. Either one will work fine, so it may just come down to a matter of either what’s available or personal preference. Place the cover over the faucet and attach securely. Some insulation will come with wing nuts that can be tightened around the outside. Cloth sack styles are typically tied around the faucet with string that they come with.

Blow Out Sprinkler System Lines

Winterizing sprinkler systems is important before the first freeze because even if the pipe itself does not crack, sprinkler heads and fittings can both be damaged in extreme weather.

  1. Be sure to shut off the water supply to the irrigation system long before freezing temperatures are the norm. Wrap that main shut off valve with insulation to protect it or pack it with a straw or pine to shelter it. If the irrigation system is automatic on a timer, don’t forget to winterize the controller by shutting down any automated times for sprinklers to run.
  2. Removing water from pipes is important so they do not freeze deep underground during the first frost. You have your choice of manually draining, using an automatic drain valve, or using compressed air to blow moisture out. Hiring a local irrigation company is a simple alternative and will ensure lines are not damaged before next season.

Wash Out Garbage Cans

Fall is a great time to wash out garbage cans and give them a good scrub before the winter season. Be sure cans are completely dry before putting any tools, garbage or lawn clippings into bins, otherwise you may end up with a mildewy stinky mess. And tools may rust if they are stored in a damp can.

Replace HVAC Filters

There really isn’t a good reason to replace HVAC filters now versus any other time during the year, other than the fact that since you are completing other annual tasks, it is a good way to ensure these are not forgotten. Purchase replacement filters at any local hardware store or order them online, and simply pull out old filters and replace with new. Doing so will help make sure the heater is ready to go that first cold night.

Power Wash the Deck

Don’t abandon the deck and patio just yet. Clean these high-traffic areas one last time before heading inside. Come spring, everyone will be happy to find their favorite sitting spaces in good condition.

Tackle the job quickly with the Gilmour Power Jet Wand. It is designed for targeted spraying that is more powerful than standard cleaning nozzles.

Grease stains from the grill? A hose-end sprayer is a great way to do the job fast. Get rid of grease by filling a Foamaster Cleaning Sprayer with dishwashing detergent and spray away the stain in one quick step.

Clear the Gutters

Clogged gutters can result in water damage, and the weight of build-up can cause gutters to loosen or detach. The easiest way to blast the gunk away? Spray with the powerful jet setting of a cleaning nozzle.

Turn the adjustable front tip all the way to the left for a powerful, concentrated spray that will clear blockages. While up there, be sure to inspect gutters for leaks. Often problems can be taken care of without professional assistance. Simply scrape out old caulking before drying the area thoroughly. Then, apply a silicone sealant to prevent water damage to a home’s siding and foundation.

Wash the Siding

Over time, dirt and debris – including dust, pollen, insects and bird droppings – can build up on siding, detracting from a beautifully landscaped home. Fortunately, it is easy to restore a home to a like-new condition with a simple yet strong stream of water. Spray the home’s exterior with a cleaning nozzle and blast any surface dirt away.

The key to making this chore a quick one is to adjust the nozzle’s spray settings to optimize water power and distance. Water is usually enough to get most exteriors clean but tackling mold or mildew may be necessary if a home has shady, moisture-prone areas that don’t get much sunlight. Try pouring a house cleaner designed to kill mildew into a hose-end sprayer. Gilmour’s Foamaster Cleaning Sprayer easily mixes water with a solution to deliver a controlled spray in one step.

Clean the Driveway

With dirt, leaves and grass clippings blowing around throughout the fall, driveways can start looking a little drab. Be sure to sweep debris and remove dead grass and leaves from your driveway’s cracks before washing away the dirt.

If stubborn weeds poke through those cracks, pour boiling water on them for a natural and cost-efficient remedy. Then look to a robust watering tool, like Gilmour’s Power Jet Wand, to blast away dirt and grime.

Oil stains? A quick trick is to spray them with oven cleaner. Let the cleaner sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then scrub the spot with a stiff-bristled brush and rinse it with a steady stream of water from a cleaning nozzle.

Haven’t you heard? Fall cleaning is the new spring cleaning…it’s a great opportunity to wrap up the wear and tear that spring and summer creates on outdoor spaces. Organize, clean and store, and come next spring, everything will be ready to break out, good as new!

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