Fall Home Maintenance Checklist & Tips | Preparing Your Home For Fall

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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What Are The Most Important Fall Home Maintenance Tasks To Complete?

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist & Tips - Guide For Preparing Your Home For Fall

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist & Tips – Guide For Preparing Your Home For Fall

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 you don’t 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 tasks to complete.  Below are 10 of the most important tips for preparing your home for the fall!

Homeowners who perform the proper fall home maintenance tasks 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!

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #1: Care For Your Trees, Bushes & Shrubs

After a long, hot summer, it’s likely that your trees, shrubs, and bushes have weakened due to extreme 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 your 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 also an excellent time to plant new trees, bushes, and shrubs.  Since there is a less of a chance of extreme temperatures, they have a much better chance of survival after being planted.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #2: Rake Your Leaves

Fall Home Maintenance Tips - Don't Bury Your Lawn With Leaves

Fall Home Maintenance Tips – Don’t Bury Your Lawn With Leaves

As you’re completing your fall home maintenance, another important task to complete is to make sure you rake your leaves.  Raking your leaves becomes paramount if you’re selling a home in the fall, but is still important if you’re not!

Why is it important to rake your leaves?

There are actually 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 lawn come springtime.  A layer of leaves will definitely have a negative impact on having a great lawn in a few months.

In addition to allowing your lawn to breathe, raking your leaves will also reduce the chance that your lawn becomes diseased 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.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #3: 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 popular companies for lawn care maintenance programs is Scotts.

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 winter guard product, especially if you live in an area that experiences harsh winter conditions.  When meeting with homeowners during the fall season who’re preparing to sell a home during the spring, I always suggest preparing their lawn now rather than waiting.

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.  Experts say that the fall is one of the best times to seed.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #4: 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 water backup.  This ultimately can lead to water seeping onto your roof, exterior walls, and potentially into your basement.

As you’re going through your fall home maintenance checklist, make sure cleaning and clearing your gutters and downspouts is at the very top.  Neglecting to clear and clean your gutters and downspouts may not only result in a roof leak, but once temperatures drop below freezing, can result in ice damming.

One of the most common reasons why ice dams 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 repairs.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #5: Inspect Your Roof

Fall Home Maintenance Tasks - Inspect Your Roof During The Fall

Fall Home Maintenance Tasks – Inspect Your Roof During The Fall

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 tasks.

  1. Inspect your roofs flashing during the fall.  Flashings are metal pieces that cover gaps near chimneys and vents.  Neglecting to inspect the flashings can result in water leaking into your home.
  2. 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 during the winter months once snow accumulates.
  3. 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 need to ensure there are not any missing or damaged shingles.  Missing or damaged shingles can result in water entering your home.  
  4. Last but certainly 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 but also can severely shorten the lifespan of your roof.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #6: 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 quite like relaxing on a nice summer 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.

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, garage, or basement.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #7: Stow Your 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 during the winter months if they’re stored in a garage or shed.

Also to prevent any issues with your water lines freezing, make sure you’ve shutoff the water to your hose 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 occurring.  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 luxury home in Rochester NY, 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.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #8: Have Your Fireplace Serviced

Fall Home Maintenance Tips - Get Your Fireplace Serviced During The Fall!

Fall Home Maintenance Tips – Get Your Fireplace Serviced During The Fall!

If your home is equipped with a fireplace, the fall is the best time to have it serviced.  In real estate transactions, fireplace inspections are actually one of the most common real estate contingencies and rightfully so.

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 reduces 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 a 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.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #9: 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.

Fall Home Maintenance Tip #10: Get Your Winter Supplies Ready

Yes, we realize this article is a resource for homeowners who’re looking for the top fall home maintenance tips, but winter will be here soon as well!  Our final fall home maintenance tip is to get your winter supplies ready.

As you’re completing these fall home maintenance tasks, make sure that you have sufficient shovels, ice scrapers, snow brushes, ice melt, and have serviced your snowblower.  Getting your winter supplies ready in the fall is a great way to put yourself a step ahead on preparing your home for the winter!

Final Thoughts

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.

Other Helpful Fall Home Maintenance Resources

Are you thinking about starting fall home maintenance tasks on your home in Rochester?  The above tasks and tips are critical to keep your home in top notch shape.  Since we often experience extreme weather during the winter in Rochester NY, it’s critical you complete these important fall home maintenance tasks!  If you’re looking for contractors or companies in Rochester NY to assist with these tasks, contact me and I can suggest a top Rochester business who can help you!

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About the authors: The above article “Fall Home Maintenance Checklist & Tips | Preparing Your Home For Fall” was written by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  With over 35 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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