As the leaves start to change colors and the air turns crisp, it’s a sure sign that fall has arrived. It’s a perfect time to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months. Fall maintenance is essential to keep your house in top shape and avoid costly repairs down the road. Here are some valuable tips to help you get started:

  1. Inspect Your Roof: Begin by examining your roof for any missing or damaged shingles. Repairing these issues now can prevent leaks and water damage during the rainy fall season.

  2. Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Remove leaves, twigs, and debris from your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can lead to water overflow and potential foundation problems.

  3. Check for Drafts: Seal any gaps or cracks around doors and windows with weatherstripping or caulking. This will help keep your home warm and reduce heating costs during the colder months.

  4. Service Your Heating System: Hire a professional to inspect and clean your furnace or heating system. This will ensure it’s operating efficiently and safely throughout the winter.

  5. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Safety should always be a priority. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they are in working condition.

  6. Clean and Store Outdoor Furniture: Before the snow and cold weather arrive, clean and store your outdoor furniture. This will extend its lifespan and prevent damage.

  7. Trim Trees and Bushes: Trim any overhanging branches or bushes near your home. This will prevent damage from falling branches during storms and minimize the risk of pests finding their way into your house.

  8. Prepare Your Garden: Remove dead plants and leaves from your garden beds and add a layer of mulch to protect plants over the winter. Fall is also an excellent time to plant spring bulbs.

  9. Drain and Store Hoses: Disconnect garden hoses, drain them, and store them in a shed or garage. Shut off outdoor water faucets to prevent freezing.

  10. Inspect Your Chimney and Fireplace: If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional. It’s crucial to ensure it’s safe to use.

  11. Clean Dryer Vents: Lint buildup in dryer vents is a fire hazard. Clean the vents to improve dryer efficiency and safety.

  12. Prepare for Snow Removal: Check your snow shovels and snowblower to ensure they are in working order. Stock up on ice melt or sand for icy walkways and driveways.

By taking the time to tackle these fall maintenance tasks, you’ll not only protect your investment but also create a comfortable and safe environment for the upcoming winter.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.