Cover Your Asset: Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Your home is an investment. To ensure a strong return on your investment take care of the small maintenance items every season so they don't turn into large, expensive repairs when it comes time to sell. 

As the days become shorter and the temperatures become cooler prepare your home and yard for falling leaves and more time spent indoors.

Outdoor To Do List:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts. I'm a huge fan of leaf guards or mesh coverings to cut down on debris in gutters. 
  • Inspect roof and chimney for cracks and damage. I have my chimney capped. However, cracks can lead to water damage with fall rain and snow. 
  • Rake leaves and shred to use as mulch or dispose of them based on local guidelines. In most cities it is illegal to burn them. The city will fine you and the firemen will not like you. Don't do it. 
  • Close or install storm windows.
  • Remove hoses from spigots and drain and store indoors, coiled and flat. If you live in a climate with sub-zero temps I'd recommend outdoor faucet insulation covers. Technically, this is more for winter but temperatures can drop suddenly and dramatically so I install them in the fall. 
  • Store outdoor furniture and cushions.
  • Test snow blower and have it professionally serviced if necessary. I have a service that plows my drive so I get in touch with them during this time to make sure I'm still on their list and check for price increases. This gives me plenty of time to comparison shop prior to the first snow. 

Indoor To Do List:

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. An easy way to remember this is to do it when you set clocks back in the fall. 
  • Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it's needed. Google this topic and you'll find tons of DIY sites that can walk you through how to do it step-by-step. Find one that works for you so you'll do it. 
  • Have furnace professionally inspected. Most heating & cooling companies offer a special or coupon this time of year. Do your homework to make sure they're reputable. Realtors are a great source as well. 
  • If needed, set traps for rodents. I live in the middle of the city and get a mouse in my house every fall. I opt for the humane traps. To me, every mouse looks like Stewart Little. I can't bear the thought of killing something that looks like Stewart Little. I don't want them to die, I just don't want to share my dwelling with them. 
  • Dust blinds and vacuum curtains throughout your house. Again, Google this topic because there are so many ways to do this. It depends on your type of blinds, size, material, etc. 
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw away outdated food, medicine and cosmetics. I put this one one here because I tend to "stock up" on cooking & baking supplies for the holidays so I need more kitchen cabinet space. I also buy cold prevention medicine like Zicam, Immunity support tablets, and extra vitamins so I need more bathroom cabinet space as well.

This should keep you busy for the upcoming weekend!

Home checklist basics in bold type courtesy of Lowe's. Additional comments are all mine.