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DIYHousetoHome Fall


The easiest way to keep your home in great shape and save yourself a lot of work and expense later is with regular upkeep. Small problems can be fixed before they become a major repair requiring hiring a contractor or worse as an emergency situation as result of water or fire caused by deferred maintenance.

Every season I supply you with a reminder of the maintenance that may need to be done, things that need to be checked and include some links that may help you find the answer to repair questions.

Fall is approaching and it is time to begin our fall home checkup.

In many areas of the country fall can bring not only visions of crisp winds and falling leaves but cooler weather, rain and strong winds. Even though most of the dangerous weather of spring and summer is over for now it is always a good idea to have a kit available for emergencies.

Let’s begin inside with emergency preparedness:

You should have the following ready:

  • battery powered radio
  • first aid kit
  • a pill box with a few pills of any medication
  • blankets
  • a couple gallons of fresh water
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • candles and matches
  • screwdriver and wrench to shut off valves with leaking water or gas

In areas prone to earthquakes you should also have a day or two supply of food that stores well.

If you are a camper many of the supplies you use for camping would serve you well so store them where access would be easy if needed.

Fall Maintenance 2

Let’s begin our fall maintenance inside.

  • Check the batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Inspect your attic for leaks, openings or areas that animals may enter when it becomes too cold to be outside.
  • Do you have a storage area in your garage that is cluttered? Now is a great time to clean it out, get rid of any old tools, bikes, toys and anything that you no longer need. It is also a good time to remove toxic fluids like paints and cleaners – check your city’s regulations on disposal of anything questionable.
  • Check your garage door safety sensors. Here is a good guide if you need help.
  • Flush your water heater and add a Blanket if you don’t have one. They are inexpensive and will keep the heater water warmer requiring less energy.
  • Fireplace – make sure the damper is in working order, opening and closing easily. If you delayed cleaning of the chimney last year schedule a cleaning now. Preventative maintenance is important especially if you burn soft woods because they release more creosote.
  • Heating units can rob your home of humidity. Moisture added to the air either by a furnace mounted or free standing humidifier can make the air feel warmer and save the woodwork and furniture from cracking. Do the maintenance now so you will be ready when the temperature drops.
  • Change out the air filters for maximum energy efficiency.
  • Schedule your furnace check-up.
  • Do you live in a place where air conditioners are seasonal? Fall means closing them down – follow your manufacturer’s directions on the proper procedures for your unit.
  • Check weather stripping around windows and doors and door sweeps, repair or replace as needed.
  • Clean and reverse ceiling fans.

Fall Maintenance 1

Moving Outside

  • Clean the gutters – it is easier when the leaves are wet so the perfect time is after a soaking rain.
  • Check and repair and loose shingles or tiles on the roof as well as the flashing around vent pipes and chimneys and seals around skylights.
  • Check and repair any damaged siding, wood or stucco exterior surfaces and stairs.
  • Repair and seal deck to avoid standing water on unprotected wood.
  • Caulk any gaps or cracks now while the caulk is more pliable rather than colder temperatures.
  • Install storm windows after washing.
  • Wash outdoor furniture and cushions and store away if space allows. Empty and store clay and ceramic pots which may crack if left out in below freezing temperatures.
  • Before cleaning and storing away your garden tools cut back all the brush that touches of is very near your house to eliminate damage to the exterior surfaces and trim back perennials.
  • Rake leaves and shred to use as mulch.
  • Depending upon your climate and the type of grass you have, aerate the lawn and fertilize.
  • Trim tree branches and remove dead tree branches.
  • Plant spring bulbs and dig up and store summer bulbs.
  • Drain and store garden hoses and cover exposed spigot with foam covers to avoid breakage when freezing temperatures arrive.
  • Replace outdoor lighting bulbs.
  • Replenish firewood supply.
  • Tune up the snow blower.
  • Purchase ice melt or sand.
  • Prune shrubs and bushes.
  • Check your driveway and sidewalks for cracks and repair before water seeps under and lifts causing a tripping hazard or causes further damage.
  • Close your pool and winterize.


  • Sit back and enjoy the beautiful fall weather knowing that you and your home are ready for almost any weather that comes your way!

DIY House to Home Members have access to the Library of Articles which has a printable Fall To-Do-Check List

Not a member yet ~ sign up today and you will receive the password to get all the articles in the Library as well as a link to download my latest Ebook “Staging to Live Beautifully or Sell Quickly” A one day entire house redo turning any house into a home you will love living in or one that buyers will find irresistible.




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