Fall Home Maintenance Checklist And Tips
Whether you're thinking about selling your home or not, home maintenance is crucial. If you're planning on listing your home for sale in the near future, deferred maintenance is one of the top reasons why home buyers are scared away from a home, so it's important not to neglect your home.
There are home maintenance tasks and tips that you should be aware of for all four seasons. In the past, we've written about important spring home maintenance tips as well as summer home maintenance tips.
Both articles on the spring and summer maintenance tips were so well received that we've decided to write an article on the most important fall home maintenance tips to complete. Below are the 10 most important tips for preparing your home for the fall!
Homeowners that perform the proper fall maintenance tips generally will save themselves money in the long run. Not completing the proper tasks in the fall can lead to costly repairs in the future, so complete the following tasks to make sure your home is ready for the fall.
Care For Your Trees, Bushes, & Shrubs
After a long, hot summer, it's likely that your trees, shrubs, and bushes have weakened due to the hot temperatures. If you've been consistent with watering them, it's still very likely they're lacking enough moisture.
The fall is an excellent time to get your trees, bushes, and shrubs ready for the harsh winter months.
An excellent fall home maintenance task to complete is to lay fresh mulch which can help trap much needed moisture.
As you're laying fresh mulch, be sure to trim and prune your trees, bushes, and shrubs.
Trimming and pruning will help protect them from winter conditions and also improve the chances that they'll bloom in the spring.
The fall is an excellent time to plant new trees, bushes, and shrubs. Since there is less of a chance of extreme temperatures, they have a much better chance of survival after being planted.
Rake/Blow Your Leaves
As you're completing your fall home maintenance, another important task to tackle is to make sure you rake or blow your leaves. Raking your leaves becomes paramount if you're selling your home in the fall, but is just as important if you're not.
Why is it important to rake your leaves?
There are several reasons why raking your leaves is important.
First and foremost, raking your leaves will allow your lawn to breathe which is important if you want a lush, green lawn come springtime.
A layer of leaves will definitely have a negative impact on having a great lawn within a few months.
In addition to allowing your lawn to breathe, raking your leaves will also reduce the chance that your lawn gets a disease or infested with pests.
A bonus tip for you while you rake your leaves is to consider starting a compost pile with the leaves. Over the wintertime, leaves will decompose, and come spring they can be used in and around your flowerbeds.
Feed & Seed Your Lawn
Throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons there are different types of lawn care products that you should consider using. One of the most widely used and sold lawn maintenance brands is Scott's.
There are several periods throughout these three seasons when to feed your lawn and also different stages within a lawn care program.
For example, one of the most important stages is during the early spring season when you should consider applying a crab grass killer to your lawn.
While you're completing your fall home maintenance tasks, you need to consider using some type of fall/winter guard product to apply to your lawn.
When meeting with homeowners during the fall season who are preparing to sell a home during the spring, I always suggest preparing their lawn now rather than later.
A fall feed and seed lawn product makes a huge difference come springtime. One great piece of advice when feeding and seeding your lawn during the fall is to over seed in areas that are bare or burnt after the hot summer. Fall and spring are the best times to seed according to the experts.
Clear & Clean Your Gutters & Downspouts
Clogged gutters and downspouts are one of the biggest culprits of roof leaks. A clogged gutter or downspout does not allow water to flow freely which can lead to a water backup. This ultimately can lead to water seeping onto your roof, exterior walls, and potentially inside your home.
As you're going through your fall home maintenance checklist, make sure cleaning and clearing your gutters and downspouts is at the top of your priority list.
Neglecting to clear and clean your gutters and downspouts may not only result in a roof leak, but on the rare occasions when temperatures drop near freezing, can result into ice damming.
One of the most common reasons why ice damms happen is clogged gutters and downspouts. Ice dams can create havoc on a home and can result in leaks and damaged gutters which can be costly to repair.
Inspect Your Roof
It's highly recommended to inspect your homes roof more than once a year. A faulty or damaged roof can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement.
Inspecting your roof is one of the most important fall home maintenance tasks that you should be completing. There are a few different roof inspections that you should be completing during the fall.
Below are 4 important roof inspections to complete as you're tackling your fall home maintenance checklist:
- Inspect your roofs flashing during the fall. Flashings are metal pieces that cover gaps near chimneys and vents. Neglecting to inspect the flashings can lead to water leaking into your home.
- As mentioned above, it's critical to clear and clean your gutters as you're completing your fall home maintenance. In addition, as you inspect your roof, make sure that the gutters are secured properly. Gutters that aren't secured properly can be ripped off with high winds during any season.
- Depending on the type of roof your home has, you'll need to be on the lookout for certain red flags. If your home has an asphalt shingle roof, you'll need to ensure there are not any missing or damaged shingles. Missing or damaged shingles can result in water entering your home.
- Last but not least, as you're inspecting your roof, ensure that there isn't any vegetation on your roof. Overgrown trees and bushes can damage a roof should they fall in addition to bringing on wood destroying insects.
Put Away Your Outdoor Furniture
One of the best benefits of owning a home is the ability to enjoy your outdoor space. There is nothing like relaxing on a nice spring evening on a deck or patio.
Now that fall is here, an important, and often not enjoyable fall home maintenance task is to put away your outdoor furniture.
Outdoor furniture is typically expensive to purchase and leaving it outside during the fall and winter months is a great way to ruin it because of the weather.
As you're completing your fall home maintenance checklist, be sure to put away your outdoor tables, chairs, lights, and other valuable furniture. In some cases, you might be able to purchase covers for your outdoor furniture, however, it's still a better idea to stow away in a shed or garage.
Stow Your Garden Hoses
While it may seem like an obvious task, there are some homeowners who elect to not put away their hoses in the fall season. Another important fall home maintenance task you need to complete is to stow your hoses.
As you're preparing to stow your hoses in the fall, make sure that you drain any excess water in your hoses, otherwise they can freeze when temperatures fall below freezing.
Also to prevent any issues with your water lines freezing, make sure you've shutoff the water to your house bibs.
If you don't want the hassle of turning off the water to your hose bibs each fall, you can install frost free hose bibs which prevents freezing from occuring.
Installing frost free hose bibs can be especially handy if you need to temporarily utilize water during the winter outside, to fill a hot tub for example.
If your home is equipped with a sprinkler system, it's absolutely vital you have the lines flushed and winterized during the fall as well.
Recently while selling a home in east Dallas, one of the contingencies requested by the home buyer in the contract was that the sprinkler system was properly serviced for the fall and winter season. This is an acceptable contingency due to the fact that a sprinkler system that's not properly serviced and winterized can be expensive to repair or replace.
Have Your Fireplace Serviced
If your home is equipped with a fireplace, the fall is the best time to have it serviced. In Dallas/Ft. Worth real estate transactions, fireplace inspections are actually one of the most common real estate contingencies.
Why is it important to have your fireplace serviced during the fall?
The number one reason to include fireplace servicing on your fall home maintenance checklist is because it can reduce the chance you have a terrible accident in your home.
Without annual cleanings of your fireplace, creosote will build up in your chimney which can create a potential safety hazard.
Creosote can corrode your fireplace and be the reason for a fire but also can destroy your chimney liner and mortar joints.
In addition to reducing the potential of a fire in a chimney, having your fireplace serviced can also reduce allergens that collect in a chimney throughout the year. This includes dirt, dust, soot, and pet hair that can collect in your chimney.
Check Your HVAC System
Checking your homes HVAC system throughout the year is very important. For example, if you happened to be selling a home during the summertime, the last thing you want is to not have air conditioning while potential buyers are walking through your home.
It's important to check your HVAC system during the fall because the last thing you want is to not have heat once the temperatures begin dropping.
It's possible you may not require an inspection of your furnace if you've recently had it completed but at the very least you should at least turn on your furnace in the fall to ensure it's functioning properly.
In addition to checking for heat, the fall is a great time to change your furnace filter and check your furnaces out flow duct. On many furnaces there will be a lever that allows you to adjust the humidity being put into your homes air, so make sure yours is set for the proper time of year.
Caulk Around Windows & Doors Inside & Out
Sealing your windows for cracks and air leaks requires very few materials. For residential windows, silicone caulk is the ideal sealant. It is the ideal choice because it is flexible, waterproof, and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
Fall is typically the preferred month to accomplish this task and usually takes a day or less to completely seal all of your home’s windows.
Applying caulk is not limited to your windows, you can also apply the sealant to doors, countertops, showers, and sinks.
And depending on whether it is a job for the exterior or interior of the home, different types of caulk will be necessary. Properly applying caulk to your window frames is a simple way to keep your windows better maintained.
These 10 fall home maintenance tips should never be ignored! Homeowners who follow these tips and complete the tasks mentioned exponentially improve the overall health of their home. Those who decide these tasks aren't important often end up spending hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars in repairs that could've been avoided.
Are you thinking about starting fall home maintenance tasks on your home in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex? The above tasks and tips are critical to keep your home in top notch shape. Since we some times experience extreme weather during the winter months in Dallas, it's critical you complete these important fall home maintenance tasks!