Spring cleaning is something most people do, but probably only a few people understand what it is to winterize your house. It's a good plan every fall, to take a look at the house and see if it is prepared to get through another winter. In the course of fall it is actually easier to check out the outside of the home, since the foliage is dying away and you can more easily see if shrubs are attached to the house. Exterior siding is very easily damaged by roots and vines that cling to the exterior - even bricks aren't immune - and they should be cleaned off.
Once you have finished your very last watering, drain, roll up and store all the hose. The outside faucets need to have the water turned off, and then allowed to drain dry. Have the garden furniture cleaned up and stored somewhere dry, once you are done using it till the following year. You need to shield any young trees you have with mulch, particularly in their first year of growth. All water flow ditches should really be cleared so they can cope with any heavy rains.
As soon as the weather starts to get colder, it is time to start thinking of fireplaces. See your chimney swept just in time, before the first cold spell, because that's generally when everyone wakes up and wants it done. Who knows how the source of firewood will be, so if you are going to need some, make an effort to locate some in plenty of time. When cruising around outlying areas, you may find local people who sell fire wood, without lots of advertising. Although you don't use a fireplace, make sure that any smoke alarms are working. Some people leave Christmas lights up all year, and the cables should be checked for flexibility. And right now is the time for you to get the storm windows set up. You need to check if the weather-stripping has become dried out from the summer's heat and should be replaced.
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Confirm the high-quality working order of the range hood filters, since during winter the windows are mostly closed. Do a review of the ground-slope all around the house, ensuring that it falls away from the walls. You don't want the issues associated with water getting into the basement or the foundation. To start with it could cause wet rot, which in turn could cause dry rot, which isn't something you want in your home anywhere. Make the effort of examining, at regular intervals, that water is not seeping into your home.
It appears to be inescapable that leakages come, and the most likely places are the roof, the gutter and down-spouts, and the inside plumbing. Set a priority to get any leaks you see fixed. Wrap any exterior pipes, certainly so if your house is older, and reduce drafts by placing a cover over air-conditioning units. Your carpets and rugs may need to be shampooed to get rid of dust which in winter is readily noticed. End simply by cleaning the windows.