Fall Home Maintenance Tips & Checklist

Whether you’re planning on selling your home or not, maintenance is crucial. Deferred maintenance is one of the top reasons why home buyers lose interest in a home, so it is important that you do routine and seasonal maintenance. 

There are several season specific maintenance tasks that every homeowner should be aware of. Below are some of the most important tips for preparing your home for the fall season. Homeowners who perform these maintenance tasks will typically save themselves money in the long run as ignoring them season after season will lead to costly repairs in the future. 

Tip #1 – Take Care of Your Trees & Bushes 

Following the summer your trees and bushes are likely weakened due to the hot summer temperatures. Even if they have been routinely watered, they are still likely to be lacking enough moisture. Fall is the perfect time to prepare your trees and landscape for the upcoming winter months. Lay fresh mulch to help keep in the moisture your trees and bushes need to survive. Be sure to prune your trees and bushes to protect them from the winter conditions and improve their life once the winter frost subsides as the spring season begins. 

Tip #2 – Rake Those Leaves! 

Make sure you rake up your leaves and remove them in the yard-appropriate bagging/cans. Burying your leaves will suffocate your lawn and can cause disease and pest infestation. It is important to rake your leaves to allow the lawn to breathe and return to a lush state come springtime. Something you can do that will benefit the environment is use the leaves to start a compost pile. During the winter the leaves will decompose and can then be used in the spring around bushes and flowerbeds. 

Tip #3 – Feed & Seed the Lawn 

There are different kinds of lawn care products that should be used seasonally. Consider using a product in the fall that will protect your lawn during the harsh winter weather. A fall feed and seed product will make a huge difference during the spring season. Make sure you give extra seed to the bare or burnt spots of your lawn from the summer heat. 

Tip #4 – Clear the Gutters & Downspouts 

The most common causes of a leaky roof are clogged gutters and downspouts. When your gutters or downspouts are clogged water is unable to flow freely, which leads to water backup and pooling on the roof. Over time the water weakens the roof materials and can lead to water seeping into your roof, exterior walls and your basement. 

Make sure you clean and clear your gutters and downspouts as soon as the fall season begins. Neglecting this can not only result in a roof leak, but also cause ice damming if the winter temperatures drop below freezing. 

Tip #5 – Inspect The Room 

It is very important to inspect your roof a few times a year. A damaged roof that is neglected can lead to a costly repair or complete roof replacement. During the fall inspect your roof flashing to check for any gaps near vents and chimneys. Gaps that are not repaired can lead to water leaking into your home. Inspect your gutters and downspouts to ensure they are securely fastened. Be on the lookout for 

damaged or missing shingles and cut back any overgrown trees or branches that have the potential to damage your roof should they fall. 

Tip #6 – Put Away Outdoor Furniture & Store Hoses 

Once fall arrives it is important to put away your outdoor furniture. Leaving tables and chairs out during the winter months will damage your furniture and will be costly to replace. Put your tables, chairs, lights and other valuable furniture away in a shed, garage or storage area. 

While it may seem obvious, many homeowners forget to stow their hoses in the fall season. While stowing your hoses, make sure you drain all excess water from your hose to avoid freezing during the winter months if they are stored in a cold space like a shed or garage. Also make sure you have shut the water off to your hose bibs to prevent freezing water lines. You can also consider installing frost free hose bibs if you will continue to use your water outside during the winter months. 

Tip #7 – Have Your Fireplace Serviced & Check Your HVAC System 

If you have a fireplace, the fall is the best season to have it serviced. Fireplace inspections are one of the most common real estate contingencies. It is important to have your fireplace serviced during the fall because it can reduce the chance of a terrible accident in your home once you start using it in the colder months. Without cleaning your fireplace annually, creosote builds up in your chimney and creates a safety hazard. Creosote can corrode your fireplace and cause a fire, destroy a chimney liner or mortar joints. As well, having your fireplace serviced can also help reduce allergens that build up throughout the year such as dirt, dust, soot and other environmental allergens. 

Checking your HVAC system during the fall is also important. The last thing any homeowner wants is to not have heat once the colder temperature sets in. You should always test your furnace in the fall to ensure it is properly functioning and to check your furnace filter and out flow duct. 

These maintenance tips are important in order to maintain a healthy home. Ignoring these simple steps cause homeowners to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs that could have been avoided by creating a fall maintenance checklist.

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