Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall Home Maintenance Tips | I love fall and the fun activities it brings, however, I don’t necessarily look forward to the list of maintenance tasks that come along with being a homeowner. Between tailgates, managing fantasy football league(s!), school events, holidays, family and friend outings the last thing anyone wants to do is add to the “things to do” list.

Here’s a break down of a few of the important ones keeping it simple and fun as possible.


More Vitamin D, Please!

Everyone knows Portland-area winters can get dark and dreary and there’s nothing we can do about it.  One way to help increase our vitamin D intake when we tend to spend more time indoors is by cleaning the windows.  Believe it or not, but giving your windows and their treatments a good wipe down (in and outside) can accentuate natural light and really make a difference come mid-winter.

Safety First!

-Test and check the batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors.  Create a recurring event on your calendar so as not to forget each year.  Considering pairing with the first day of fall or daylight savings. 

-Create or review an escape plan with your family.  Do you have emergency window ladders?  Does everyone know how to use them?  Consider having a dry-run on how to evacuate your home…then go out for dinner to help make it fun!

-Refresh or create an emergency preparedness kit in case of power outages or severe winter storms.

Chim Chiminey

Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned or repaired if needed.  Bad drafts can happen as a result of a loose damper so check that too!

Is this even a thing here?

Remove screens and replace with storm windows.  Save time and clean now so switching back out in spring is easier!  **Side note: I’ve lived in Oregon for over 12 years and have never lived in a place that had storm windows.  In Michigan, this was a big one!

Cold showers are not an option! 

Keep your water heater efficient and save on energy cost by draining and clearing out any collected debris that has settled over the year.  

The Heat is On

Dust and clean all vents and filters.  Make sure that your home’s vents are not blocked or covered by anything.  If you haven’t done so recently, consider making an appointment for the annual heating system service. 


Cleaning the gutters

-This one is pretty self-explanatory and admittedly my husbands least favorite task…meaning, I have to make sure we actually set a time aside to do it, otherwise, he would “selectively” overlook this one!

Ready the garden and yard

-Clear out any annuals or plants from your veggie garden.

-Prepare the grass with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.  Fertilizing before the ground freezes and grass goes into hibernation helps protect the lawn and help it come back healthy in the spring.

-Plant new trees, shrubs, and bulbs.  Planting after the hot summer and before it gets too cold helps roots to become established before the ground freezes.  Consider mulching around trees and shrubs to help protect and maintain moisture.

Outdoor plumbing 

Drain sprinkler system and faucets and cover to prevent burst pipes and maintain their longevity.  Disconnect any hoses and store.

Outdoor furniture and patios

This task can be pushed to late fall to squeeze any last drops out of the nice weather.  Clean, cover and store any outdoor furniture (and toys!).  I always hate doing this one, but when the warm, dry-ish weather finally hits in late spring, it’s much easier to pull out already cleaned furniture.  Also, the toys my kids love playing with can easily be pulled out on the random sunny, dry day mid-winter.

The list can be much longer depending on your home and location, but here’s a few to start you off with.  Enjoy for now and don’t forget to celebrate all of your hard work with a nice cold, and refreshing beverage!  Cheers!

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