Fall maintenance is often overlooked on the home maintenance calendar but includes some critical items that if missed can be make for very costly repairs. Most of the Fall maintenance items are really looking ahead for that first freeze in the Denver Metro area and making sure that everything is buttoned up for the cold months ahead. Winter is indeed coming.
Inside Fall Home Maintenance
❏ Have Furnace / Heater Serviced
To ensure safety and efficiency, it’s a good idea to have your heating system serviced at least once a year to keep everything running at full efficiency. This is the most common item we see at home inspections. The best time to do your annual furnace maintenance is right now, as Denver area homeowners are turning on their furnaces for the first time as nights get colder.
❏ Shut Down A/C for the Winter
If you have central air conditioning, you can have it serviced at the same time as your furnace to make sure it is turned off properly for winter. If you have a portable or window unit, ensure it’s properly sealed or remove it and store it for the winter.
❏ Inspect Fireplace & Chimney
Fire safety experts recommend that you have your chimney inspected annually and cleaned periodically. Complete this task before you start using your fireplace.
❏ Seal Windows and Doors
Check windows and doors for drafts and caulk or add weatherstripping where necessary. Most front doors have an adjustable threshold with 3 screws. This makes sure that your exterior door stays nice and tight against the frame and doesn't allow drafty air inside.
❏ Check Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you checked your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the spring, they are due for another inspection. Batteries should be replaced every six months, so it’s time to replace them again. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test your individual devices. And even properly functioning devices should be replaced at least every 10 years, or per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Outside Exterior Home Maintenance
❏ Plant Fall Flowers, Grass, and Shrubs
Fall is a great time to plant perennials, trees, shrubs, cool-season vegetables, and bulbs that will bloom in the spring. It’s also a good time to fertilize and re-seed your lawn.
❏ Rake or Mow Leaves
Once the leaves start falling, it’s time to pull out your rake. A thick layer of leaves left on your grass can lead to an unhealthy lawn. Or, rather than raking, use a mulching mower to create a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
❏ Apply Fall Fertilizer
If you choose not to use a mulching mower, a fall fertilizer is usually recommended. For best results, aerate your lawn before applying the fertilizer. A fertilizer application at the end of October or early November is essential. At that time, apply a fertilizer with a formula of 13-25-12. The push of phosphorus will stimulate root growth through November and even into early December.
❏ Inspect Gutters and Roof
Inspect your gutters and downspouts and make needed repairs. Check the roof for any broken or loose tiles. Clean your gutters to ensure they are not clogged with leaves or debris.
❏ Shut Down Sprinkler System
If you have a sprinkler system, drain any remaining water and shut it down to prevent damage from freezing temperatures over the winter. Most companies are 2-3 weeks out currently, so make sure to book your service soon.
If we are missing something please let us know below.
Posted by Ryan Penn on