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It is once again that special time of the year when the days get shorter, the temperatures and leaves start falling and the mighty pumpkin is just around the corner. With all of that looming on the horizon, it is time to consider the great undertaking of getting your home, rental properties and maybe even an elderly neighbor or family members house in order before the Winter Season is upon us.

Owning a home, rental property or even maintaining a rental to a proper standard, (after all you don’t want to become a slum lord or have the rental fall apart) all require routine maintenance throughout the year. Any investment requires periodic maintenance whether its shifting funds and bonds in a portfolio or cleaning the gutters for the rainy season. If you follow a periodic routine throughout the year, you can avoid some costly repair bills and save some money along the way. That is a great return on investment.

Fall is a great time to do some of those projects that were put off during the summer when it was just too hot, before it gets too cold. The following include many common tips in a checklist, as well as some not so common tips at the bottom – For those who are more energetic in their Fall Clean up.

Lawn & Garden            

___ Prune Trees, Shrubs & Hedges.

___ Fertilize the lawn – fall is the best time to nourish your lawn – Water after you fertilize.

___ Store your lawn equipment – Drain the fuel and oil

___ Drain & Store outdoor hoses

___ Place any plants in outdoor containers inside for storage.

___ Add a protective layer of mulch to your perennials, shrubs & trees

___ Clean flower beds of spent blossoms and dead plants.

___ Cover and insulate any exposed faucets, water lines and drains.

___ Remove any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines, or the roof of your home.

Home Exterior 

___ Seal any cracks in your siding or paint with caulking, including vents and fans

___ Check the weather-stripping on doors & windows and replace if needed.

___ Make sure your air vents are clean and unobstructed

___ Inspect your roof and make any repairs – replace shingles or hire a contractor

___ Repair any flashing, seals and check for gaps around skylights.

___ Check vents, louvers and chimneys for bird nests, squirrels or insects.

___ Have your chimney inspected and cleaned

___ Check that vents and eaves are free of plants and debris

___ Check gutter support brackets to make sure they are intact and secure.

___ Repair any foundation walls, steps, retaining walls, walkways, patios, driveways and garage floors that have cracks or are heaving and crumbling.

___ Clean gutters and downspouts. Repeat as necessary through the falling leaf season.

___ Repair gutters and downspouts. Make sure they drain well away from the foundation so there is no seepage. Make sure there is no seepage behind the gutters by sealing as needed.

Home Interior  

___ Close the attic vent to conserve heat

___ Have your heating system cleaned and serviced. Change the filters

___ Vacuum the bathroom fan grill

___ Check your sump pump for functionality and repair if needed.

___ Remove window screens and install storm windows

___ Remove window air conditioners or weatherproof and cover them up

___ Clean any ceiling fans and if it is reversible, change it to pull the warm air up.

___ Check underside of roof for any water stains, leaks, dampness or condensation

___ Check your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed

___ Check attic insulation – replace any as needed. Make sure not to cover any vents.

___ Clean out your range hood fan vent and dryer vent and check for air flow

___ Install or replace the dehumidifier in your basement to keep moisture out

___ Vacuum baseboard heaters, remove grills on forced air systems and vacuum out the ducts.


___ Change the batteries in your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors

___ Check your fire extinguisher for a charge. Replace if necessary

___ Check your flashlights and replace batteries if needed

___ Restock candles for power outages

Uncommon Fall Maintenance Tips

___ Check the seal on your refrigerator door.  Replace if not air tight

___ Vacuum the refrigerator coils to remove dust and build up

___ Check faucets in kitchen and bathroom and replace washers if needed

___ Drain the hot water heater, remove sediment from bottom of tank and refill

___ Repair vinyl and wood floors

___Repair indoor staircases

___ Lubricate all door and window locks

___ Caulk bathtub, sinks and toilet

___ Lubricate squeaky door hinges

___ Repair any indoor woodwork

___ Protect and cover lawn equipment, patio furniture, barbecue and garden tools

___ Repair weather-stripping on bottom of garage door if needed

___ Drain and cover swimming pool and hot tub.

___ Fill birdfeeders

___ Turn compost

I’m sure there are many more tips out there that I have not covered. I look forward to you adding your tips, that you feel would benefit others in their fall maintenance schedule. Feel free to comment as I look forward to your feedback!