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Checklist for Fall Home Maintenance

While many regard Labor Day as the end of summer, the official start of fall is today. Fall is associated with the changing of leaves and temperature. For homeowners there are also changes that need to be made to prepare their homes for the upcoming winter.

Outside Upkeep

Man Cleaning GuttersPhoto by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region

  • Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams.
  • Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.
  • Have your roof inspected for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents.
  • Repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps. Cracks in your driveway, walkway, or steps are a big-time trip hazard, and they’ll only get worse if water seeps in and freezes. The best option for cracks is usually sealing the driveway which will extend the life of the asphalt through the winter and beyond.
  • Drain and winterize outdoor faucets and irrigation systems.
  • Have your fireplace and chimney checked by a reputable chimney sweep. They will check for soot or creosote build-up.
  • Wrap the outside air conditioning box with an approved tarp or plastic air conditioner cover to prevent rusting of vital parts.
  • Clean and repair porch and deck furniture.
  • Organize your garage and clean and store your summer yard tools.

Inside Upkeep


  • Clean your humidifier plates or pads to ensure efficient operation.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, inspect or install fire extinguishers, review fire escape plans, and rid your home of older newspapers and other fire hazards.
  • Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it’s needed.
  • Clean or replace dirty furnace filters. Also have your furnace professionally inspected.
  • If needed, set traps for rodents.
  • Dust blinds and vacuum curtains throughout your house.

Sources: Better Homes and Gardens and Bob Vila

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