Fall Home Maintenance Checklist: How to Prep Your Home this Autumn

Fall is here, which means the days grow shorter, the air has a crisp breeze to it, and the leaves begin to change color. Amongst all the excitement around fall, it’s also time to start preparing your home for the change in seasons.To help you get started here is a fall home maintenance checklist.

Fall home maintenance checklist: 6 indoor tasks

#1: HVAC System

It’s important to have your heating systems inspected and repaired before winter sets in. You’ll want to check all the HVAC vents and air ducts for dust and debris that built up over the summer. Your local HVAC company can help you do routine maintenance and cleaning before the fall season. Routine maintenance can help your heating system work more efficiently and cut down on any dust that contributes to household allergies. Make sure that you’ve moved anything flammable away from your heating system or heating vents. Check that your thermostat is working properly and consider installing a programmable thermostat to help reduce energy costs during the colder months.

#2: Plumbing

Prepare for winter by making sure that your plumbing systems are intact and operating properly. Check and test the pressure valves on your water heater for any leaks. To prevent your pipes from freezing, consider having a licensed plumber insulate pipes in the basement, garage, and attic spaces. You may want to disconnect and drain exterior plumbing to keep pipes from freezing. These include hoses, outdoor faucets, and sprinklers. In the event of any early season freeze, you’ll want to know how to shut off the main water valve.

#3: Windows and doors

Inspect your windows and doors for any signs of drafts. If needed, install weather stripping and caulking to help defend against drafts. 

#4: Insulation and ventilation

As you’re completing your fall home maintenance checklist, double-check to make sure your insulation is in good condition. Start by sealing any cracks in the foundation or walls to help prevent heat loss. Make sure to check your attic and basement for any signs of moisture. If you notice insulation blocking any vents, move the insulation to prevent ice dams. Check ridge vents or vents at eaves for any debris or weeds and remove these blockages. 

#5: Appliances

Regular appliance upkeep is a key part of home maintenance. If you haven’t checked your appliances lately, it’s a good idea to add this task to your fall home maintenance checklist. Check any hoses that are attached to the sink, washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher for leaks and tighten as needed. If repairs are necessary, now would be the time to schedule them.

#6: Safety gear

A vital part of home maintenance is to check safety equipment like carbon monoxide detectors or smoke detectors. Test any detectors around your house and replace batteries if needed. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, make sure to install one.

Fall home maintenance checklist: 7 outdoor tasks

#1: Gutters and downspouts

One major fall home maintenance task you’ll want to complete is cleaning out and inspecting your gutters and downspouts. Start by cleaning out any leaves or debris. This will help prevent rot, pests, and rusted gutters. Check gutter support brackets to make sure none are loose. You’ll also want to double check that water isn’t flowing down behind the gutters, draining, or pooling near the foundation or driveway. Other signs of gutter problems may be a curled roof, warped flashing, or leaking vents.

#2: Exterior and roof

Before winter, be sure to inspect the exterior of your home, including the roof. This is a critical step to ensure your home is in the right condition to withstand the weather. If you see signs of peeling paint, this may indicate that your home’s exterior is no longer protected. In that case, consider applying a fresh coat of paint to provide another layer of protection. 

#3: Landscaping

If you have a lawn, make sure to fertilize, aerate and reseed it as part of your fall home maintenance checklist. You’ll also want to winterize the sprinkler system, which can be done on your own or with the help of your local landscaping or lawn care company.

#4: Patio work

To prevent hazardous walking conditions, it’s important to tend to sidewalks, driveways, and front steps. If you have railings leading up to your home or on a back deck, check that they are in good condition and aren’t showing signs of instability or rotting wood. 

The most important step on your fall home maintenance checklist is preparing in advance. If you see a problem with your home, don’t wait until the last minute or the first winter storm. Stay proactive and schedule any necessary inspections, cleaning, and maintenance as soon as you can. 

 

As seen on:Redfin.com