A Homeowner's Work is Never Done: Fall Maintenance Checklist

A Homeowner's Work is Never Done: Fall Maintenance Checklist
A Homeowner's Work is Never Done: Fall Maintenance Checklist
September 4, 2012 Russ Busa

With cooler temperatures, homeowners start to think about their home fall maintenance checklist. The season is a transition between summer and winter, and a few maintenance projects prepare your home for the upcoming months. From winterizing your pool to trimming dead tree branches, make time to protect your home.

Take a Walk

When preparing your home for fall, a simple walk around the outside of your home is a good start. Make a list of anything you see that could break, leak or otherwise cause damage during high winds or heavy snows. With your list of needed repairs, schedule a day or a weekend to fix any small problems before they become major issues.

Inspect the Roof

With a sturdy ladder and nonslip shoes, walk around your roof. Look for loose or missing shingles, holes or loose rain gutters, and fix any issues as soon as possible. You’ll also want to take time to clean debris from out the rain gutters. Leaves, twigs and dirt buildup can prevent rain or melting snow and ice from properly diverting away from your home. This simple task can save your home’s foundation and prevent dangerous mold in the basement that can follow autumn precipitation.

Clean the Chimney

Cozy fires during cold weather start with a clean chimney and fireplace. You can do this chore yourself, or hire a licensed chimney sweep. It’s also a good idea to make time to stack firewood. You don’t want to be left in the cold without wood when the temperature drops. If you don’t use a fireplace, service the furnace. It’s recommended you change the filters, inspect the ductwork and refill the propane or oil fuel in the fall. When the unit operates properly and efficiently, you can confidently stay warm until the spring thaw.

Winterize Your Pool & Any Outdoor Furniture

Sadly, fall signals an end to the lazy days of summer. Tear down the above-ground pool, or winterize the in-ground pool. Wash patio furniture, and store it in a secure area.

Prepare your Landscaping

As the days get shorter, make sure the sidewalks and porches are safe for visitors. Secure the railings on the decks or porches, and replace bulbs on outdoor light fixtures. Plants appreciate a good trim in the fall. Cut off loose or dead tree branches to prevent them from falling off and damaging your house during windy weather. You’ll also want to mow the lawn one last time and reseed the grass if necessary. If you use your lawn tractor as a snowplow in the winter, replace the mower deck with the plow attachment. The professionals at Popular Mechanics also suggest homeowners service their tractor and snow blower before parking it in the fall.

Clean Out the Garage

Organizing the shed or garage is another good project for the fall. Throw away accumulated trash from any summer parties, and neatly stack the lawn furniture, bicycles and summer sports gear. With the extra room, park your tractor, car or snowmobile in preparation for cooler weather.

Stop Drafts

Doors and windows notoriously leak precious warm air. Instead of paying to heat the outdoors, replace the caulking around your windows and doors. For extra draft protection, make sure each window and door closes completely without any cracks around the edges.

Step Indoors

Since you’ll be cooped up inside when the cold weather hits, think about the indoor air quality. Vacuum under the furniture, wash the walls and launder the curtains. You might also consider making your home more intimate and comfortable. Set the ceiling fans to blow warm air down, and arrange the furniture away from the walls. With these interior improvements, you prepare your home for cooler fall weather.

These and other fall home maintenance techniques ensure your house stands ready for the cooler weather. You and your family will remain safe, snug and warm because you made time to inspect and repair your home. The investment now saves you time and money throughout this season and the next. Now get busy!