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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Home Environment

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Fall Home Maintenance

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Maintenance should be done year round but there are special tasks that should be completed each fall. This is important in order to provide a healthy environment for the family and keep repair cost at a reduced amount.

Whether you own or rent, live in an apartment or a house periodic maintenance checking is necessary. By doing timely maintenance you keep your living quarters in good conditions and the property will:

  • maintain a good value
  • be more comfortable
  • have fewer major repair bills
  • have less unexpected repairs
  • have better resale value

Check your home inside and out. Take a walk around and do an inspection from top to bottom. Some of the tasks that should be completed are:

  • Clean out gutters and check down-spouts and roof for leaks.
  • Check and repair all exterior caulking.
  • Inspect and clean windows inside and out. Check storm windows, if they are used.
  • Check screens in doors and windows. Replace screens that have rips or holes.
  • Trim limbs, branches and shrubs touching the house.
  • Clean window wells.
  • Check and replace worn window-stripping.
  • Check driveway for cracks and seal, as needed.
  • Clean under decks and porches.
  • Clean debris from gardens and areas around the house.
  • Clean flower beds and pots.
  • Check the soil around the house and foundation.
  • Check the chimney and have it cleaned, if necessary.
  • Check any crawl spaces for broken heating ducts, insects and excess moisture.
  • Clean storage sheds.
  • Clean the garage and put away equipment no longer needed for the year.
  • Prepare winter power equipment, such as snow blowers, etc.
  • Check snow shovels and other equipment, replace if broken or cracked.
  • Drain and store hoses before it freezes.
  • After the last mowing winterize and store the lawn mower.
  • Clean the air conditioner and prepare it for winter.
  • Have your heating system checked and do appropriate maintenance.
  • Change furnace filters.

Make a list of things that need to be done and prioritize the list. Involve the family in doing the tasks around the home. Some tasks need to be completed immediately others can be done as time allows. Renters, it is your responsibility to notify your landlord of any problems needing to be taken care of in your living quarters. This will save both you and the landlord added expenses.

Take time now to do a quick walk around the home, be proactive and complete the most important tasks before winter arrives. This will save you time and money in the long run.


Ask Lorene

(This resource was added September 2012 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
Web site: lancaster.unl.edu
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180