Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
- Inspect roof and foundation for leaks, cracks, and weaknesses. Seal and/or repair early in fall while temperatures are still mild.
- Make sure attic insulation is sufficient, not only for energy savings but to prevent the build-up of roof damaging ice dams.
- Clean gutters and downspouts once leaves have fallen. Make sure they are properly secured.
- Have a professional inspect and clean chimney.
- Check for and seal any gaps (foundation/ siding) where critters and cold could enter.
- Rake all leaves up so they don’t inhibit spring grass growth. Use them to mulch flower and vegetable beds.
- Check shrubs and trees for cracked or broken branches. Have growth over roof and close to home trimmed or removed.
- Check all exterior window and door caulking; look for shrinkage and gaps, and repair if necessary. Consider adding weather stripping to windows and door sweeps to the base of doors to keep heat in and cold air out.
- Drain all exterior spigots/hose bibs at the shut off, even the frost free ones. Install insulated faucet covers.
- Winterize central air conditioning unit.
- Check walkways, railings and stairs to make sure they are in good shape and free of debris that could be buried by snow and become a trip hazard.
- Install covers on outside electrical outlets.
- Replace door screens with storm windows.
- Have snow blower prepped and ready for first snow while weather is still mild. Make sure shovels are also in good condition and purchase pet friendly ice melt.
- Make sure summer gas operated machinery is emptied of fuel and properly stored.
- Clean and properly store all outdoor furniture and summer decorations.
- Drain hoses and store them indoors.
- Have any automatic, whole-house generators inspected/services.
- Remove any window air conditioners, clean and store. If not removing, cover entire exterior of unit with insulating wrap.
- Winterize sprinkler system. Exterior supply valves should be open or half-open after blowing out system as they can still hold water if closed and freeze.
- Replace furnace and humidifier filters (have the furnace inspected and cleaned prior to use).
- Change rotation of ceiling fans.
- Test smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries. (Replace detectors every 10 years.)
- Test fire extinguishers. Have refilled at authorized facility if gauge is not in green. (Replace fire extinguishers every 12 years.)
- In kitchen: Degrease range hood and filter, clean oven and vacuum refrigerator coils.
- Make sure vents/openings in crawl space are closed.
- Clean under and behind the clothes dryer. Inspect and clean entire length of dryer vent to outside or have it professionally inspected/cleaned.
- Wash windows outside while temps are still mild.
- Make note of all large/newly purchased items over summer. Discuss with your insurance agent to make sure items are properly insured.
Create or check existing emergency kit:
- Have plenty of batteries on hand for flashlights, along with candles and matches.
- Stash extra blankets in easily accessible location.
- Have several gallons of water and non-perishable food items on hand. (Chocolate and board games optional/recommended.)
- Pet owners should have extra pet food on hand.
- Make sure emergency kit includes a weather radio.
- Consider purchasing extra power pack for cell phone.
- Have gas safely stored for generator, if applicable.
Optional and recommended:
- Have an energy audit done by a trained professional to find out home’s current energy efficiency and recommended improvements.
- Have radon checked in cooler months as house is shut off from elements.
- Book flight to Florida with late spring return date.
Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational and information purposes only. MDA makes no warranties or
representations, express or implied, with respect to the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of this information. It is not a recommendation that a particular course of action be followed. MDA does not assume and has no responsibility for liability or damage which may result from the use of any of this information.