Northern Virginia, DC & Maryland Real Estate

Fall Maintenance Checklist

Foundation, Basements & Exterior Walls
  • Check and repair caulk (if needed) around exterior surfaces & foundation
  • Check the condition of your deck and apply a waterproofing sealer if necessary
  • 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
Roofs, Fireplace, Chimneys & Gutters
  • Check gutters, downspouts, and roof penetrations for leaks
  • Check roof for damaged or missing shingles or problems with flashing
  • Examine flashing around chimneys, vents, and roof edges
  • Call a professional chimney sweep if necessary
  • Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests
  • Check fireplace damper to enaure it operates smoothly
  • 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
  • Inspect fireplace flues for "glassy" creosote buildup and have flues cleaned regularly
Yard, Drive/Walk ways, Grading & Drainage
  • 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
  • Locate your winter tools: snow shovel, plows, and snow blowers
  • Remove annuals & cut back perennials
  • Repair and paint fences as necessary
  • Trim any trees or shrubs that touch house & prune others
  • Winterize landscaping, for example, store outdoor furniture, prepare gardens and, if necessary, protect young trees or bushes for winter
Doors and Windows
  • Check screws on door lock sets and hardware, tighten up if needed
  • Check the caulking for exterior windows and doors
  • Clean out basement window wells
  • Ensure all doors to the outside shut tightly, and check other doors for ease of use
  • Ensure windows and skylights close tightly
  • Inspect and clean (if needed) storm window weep holes
  • Inspect and replace (if needed) weather stripping
  • Install storm windows and doors
  • Remove screens from the inside of casement windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass
  • Remove, clean, and store summertime screens
  • Renew door weatherstripping if required
  • Replace window screens with storm windows
Plumbing & HWH
  • Blow out sprinkler systems and winterize or insulate exterior faucets and water lines
  • Check sump pump and line to ensure proper operation, and to ascertain that there are no line obstructions or visible leaks
  • Drain and store outdoor hoses & shut-off valve to exterior faucet, unless have frost proof hose bibs
  • Examine hot water heater pressure-temperature relief valve for leaking, and test, if desired
  • Have well water tested every 6 months for quality & bacteria
  • 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
Heating & Cooling
  • Bleed air from hot water radiators
  • Checking for disconnected or crushed ductwork & repair as needed
  • Clean around air conditioning units & cover until spring
  • 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)
  • General furnace inspection: look for rust, scaling on heat exchanger, proper flame color, note odd sounds or smells and check condition of venting
  • Hiring a professional HVAC technician to inspect your home's heating systems for proper functioning prior to the season of use
  • 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
  • Lubricate circulating pump on hot water heating system
  • 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
  • Seal duct leaks and insulate ducts to reduce energy loss
  • Turn ON gas furnace pilot light
  • Vacuum heating registers, vents, ducts, radiators, electric baseboard heaters to remove dust
Interior General
  • Check & vacuum smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms and replace batteries
  • Clean portable humidifier, if one is used
  • Schedule a professional carpet cleaning