Home with red brick walls during the fall with a large tree in front covered in orange leaves.

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Mary Grace Schmid4-minute read
October 12, 2022

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Purchasing a home is a major investment, and homeownership requires diligent care and upkeep to keep the house in top shape. That means that homeowners are responsible for continuous maintenance, including during the cooler months. Before winter approaches, homes need a thorough maintenance check to help prevent any major breakdowns. It’s also easier to complete any exterior project before the winter elements take their toll.

If home maintenance feels overwhelming, don’t fret. We’ve compiled the ultimate fall home maintenance checklist to make the process easier and ensure that your home is prepared for the fall and the coming winter months.

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Prepping Your Exterior For The Cold

With cooler temperatures and moderate amounts of rain, fall is the perfect time to get outside and work on home maintenance. Let’s review what to finish up before the winter season rolls around.

Clean Out Gutters And Downspouts

When gutters get cluttered with leaves and other pieces of debris, it prevents rainwater from exiting, which can damage the structure of your home. Throughout the fall season, consistently clean your gutters to help maintain the structural integrity of your roof. While you are cleaning your gutters, check if water is coming down behind the gutter and that the supporting brackets are secure.

Cleaning gutters requires a ladder to reach the roof, but if you don’t feel comfortable with the height, you can reach out to a professional.

Winterize Your Landscaping

Fall is the perfect time to tune up your landscape and prep it for the harsh winter weather. What you will need to complete will depend on your unique landscaping layout, but there are standard steps that you can take to keep your yard fresh for the upcoming spring.

  • Prune any trees or shrubs after the leaves lose their color, as this will help with their health and future growth.
  • Rake leaves routinely during the fall months.
  • Cover any bushes to protect them from the frost. If needed, bring plants that cannot tolerate cold weather inside.
  • Trim any tree limbs that are close to power lines or your house, especially if they look weak or dead.
  • Fall is an opportune time to fertilize and reseed your lawn, so consider spending time prepping your lawn and garden for spring.

Inspect And Repair Exterior Surfaces

To avoid any major repairs during the winter, you’ll want to inspect key areas that are susceptible to wear and tear. You’ll want to check all windows and door frames for any damage or gaps. Make any necessary repairs and install weatherstripping or caulk to prevent cold air from entering. Door sweeps can also be installed on the bottom of the doors.

Other areas that you will want to inspect include walkways, outdoor stairs, driveways, railings, the roof, the house siding and the foundation. If any repairs are needed, ensure that they are completed before the winter.

Another important exterior fix is sealing any gaps around the house to prevent additional drafts or even pests from entering your home. There are thick hardware cloths available to keep the cold air and animals out.

Drain Exterior Faucets And Sprinkler System

To prevent frozen pipes, remember to drain your sprinkler system and any exterior water sources, like faucets. You can cover any exterior pipes and faucets to prevent freezing. Hardware stores often supply insulated covers that are made specifically for outdoor pipes. You’ll also want to store any garden hoses inside after you drain them.

If your pipes do freeze during the fall or winter, know where your water shut-off valve is located just in case you need to turn off your water supply.

Interior Fall Home Maintenance Projects

While interior projects can be completed year-round, the autumn season is the official transition from hot, outdoor celebrations to cooler days spent inside. Here are some suggestions for interior home maintenance projects.

Check Safety Devices

No matter the season, it’s essential to ensure that all safety devices are working properly. This can include smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.

Inspect Your Attic And Basement

During the winter, you spend much more time inside and need to be aware of any potential issues. Inspecting your attic and basement can let you know if there is a mold and mildew problem, pest infestations or ventilation issues. If any of these issues are present, call a professional for assistance as soon as possible.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

During the winter, A/C experts recommend that your ceiling fans spin in a clockwise direction to circulate hot air down.

Clean Your Chimney And Inspect Heating Systems

It’s important to stay warm during the cooler months. You’ll want to clean any chimney or heating system that you have and repair any damage before you use them. If you don’t have a chimney cap to prevent critters from entering, be sure to install one before they look for a warm refuge.

Deep Clean Your Home

Spring may be known as the best time to deep clean but fall deep cleaning can also help with improving air quality and ensuring that everything in your house is in working condition. Consider wiping down and disinfecting your baseboards, walls, kitchen appliances, stove range hood, carpets, windowsills, curtains, blinds and any hard-to-reach areas. Don’t forget to remove any lint buildup in the dryer vent, as the cooler weather increases static.

Declutter And Donate Items

With new seasons comes a change in clothes, with warm sweaters and boots reentering your closet after their hibernation. If you find some items that you no longer need, consider donating or selling them to create more room in your home.

Final Thoughts

Prioritizing fall maintenance tasks throughout the season keeps your house in good shape while preventing major, expensive repairs during the winter months. Some tasks can be completed in a day, while others will need to be incorporated into a regular routine. If tackling all these projects is overwhelming for your schedule, hiring professionals help can keep your fall maintenance schedule in check.

If you find that more extensive repairs are needed, consider applying for a personal loan with Rocket LoansSM today to help you cover the expenses.

Working On A Home Project?

Use a personal loan to finance exactly what's needed for turning your house into a home.

Mary Grace Schmid

Mary Grace Schmid is a staff writer covering homeownership, personal finance and lifestyle topics. She has a B.A. in public relations from Baylor University with a minor in political science and enjoys photography, music and reading in her free time.