Northern Virginia, DC & Maryland Real Estate

Fall Maintenance Checklist

  • Schedule a professional carpet cleaning
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Checking for disconnected or crushed ductwork & repair as needed
  • Seal duct leaks and insulate ducts to reduce energy loss
  • General furnace inspection: look for rust, scaling on heat exchanger, proper flame color, note odd sounds or smells and check condition of venting
  • Open furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning and clean humidifier
  • Remove the grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts
  • If the heat recovery ventilator has been shut off for the summer, clean the filters and the core, and pour water down the condensate drain to test it
  • Examine the forced air furnace fan belt for wear, looseness or noise; clean fan blades of any dirt buildup (after disconnecting the electricity to the motor first)
  • Turn ON gas furnace pilot light
  • Lubricate circulating pump on hot water heating system
  • Vacuum heating registers, vents, ducts, radiators, electric baseboard heaters to remove dust
  • Bleed air from hot water radiators
  • Clean around air conditioning units & cover until spring
  • Hiring a professional HVAC technician to inspect your home's heating systems for proper functioning prior to the season of use
  • Water Systems
  • Have well water tested every 6 months for quality & bacteria
  • Check hot water system water level (pressure)
  • Check sump pump and line to ensure proper operation, and to ascertain that there are no line obstructions or visible leaks
  • Examine pressure-temperature relief valve for leaking, and test, if desired
  • If you have a septic tank, measure the sludge and scum to determine if the tank needs to be emptied before the spring. Tanks should be pumped out at least once every three years
  • Safety Systems
  • Check & vacuum smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms and replace batteries
  • Clean portable humidifier, if one is used
  • Replace the batteries of your smoke detectors
  • Fireplace
  • Inspect fireplace flues for "glassy" creosote buildup and have flues cleaned regularly
  • Call a professional chimney sweep if necessary
  • Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests
  • Check the chimney cap and the caulking between the cap and the chimney
  • Inspect fireplace firebrick and mortar for cracks and deterioration & patch small cracks
  • Home Exterior
  • Check the caulking for exterior windows and doors
  • Inspect and clean (if needed) storm window weep holes
  • Replace window screens with storm windows
  • Ensure windows and skylights close tightly
  • Remove screens from the inside of casement windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass
  • Ensure all doors to the outside shut tightly, and check other doors for ease of use
  • Renew door weatherstripping if required
  • Check screws on door lock sets and hardware, tighten up if needed
  • Remove, clean, and store summertime screens
  • Inspect and replace (if needed) weather stripping
  • Examine flashing around chimneys, vents, and roof edges
  • Check roof for damaged or missing shingles or problems with flashing
  • Check gutters, downspouts, and roof penetrations for leaks
  • Blow out sprinkler systems and winterize or insulate exterior faucets and water lines
  • Drain and store outdoor hoses & shut-off valve to exterior faucet, unless have frost proof hose bibs
  • Clean out basement window wells
  • Check and repair caulk (if needed) around exterior surfaces & foundation
  • Clean gaps between deck boards above joists
  • Clean out under decks and porches
  • Scrape peeling paint, and apply touch up paint to your siding, trim, and fences
  • Check the condition of your deck and apply a waterproofing sealer if necessary
  • Install storm windows and doors
  • Repair and paint fences as necessary
  • Landscaping
  • Locate your winter tools: snow shovel, plows, and snow blowers
  • Winterize landscaping, for example, store outdoor furniture, prepare gardens and, if necessary, protect young trees or bushes for winter
  • Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, so that water does not drain into your basement
  • Fertilize and reseed your lawn
  • Trim any trees or shrubs that touch house & prune others
  • Remove annuals & cut back perennials