End-of-Summer Home Maintenance Tips: Spend a Little Now, Save a Lot Later

Author: Paul Denikin

Photo by Pixabay

Ah, fall! The time of colorful leaves, crisp air, pumpkins and … home maintenance. Believe it or not, this is the perfect time to do annual checkups and cleanups to ensure that your home is secure. A little energy expended now can save time and money in the long run in costly repairs.

Just like getting your car regularly tuned up, annual house checkups will help catch minor concerns early, thus avoiding major problems later in the season. Some of the checks are quick and easy while others are a little more time consuming, perhaps needing the direction of a professional. However, they will help keep your home in tip top shape. You might not do everything listed here, but you should at least consider them. After all, when was the last time you looked under your refrigerator?


Take the time to deep clean appliances and things that are normally overlooked. Clean out your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher and garbage disposal and check underneath all of them for leaks. Wipe down your baseboards and have your carpets cleaned. Have your AC unit checked and cleaned, along with your chimney if you have one. Clean your shower heads, air filters, and dryer vent. Cleaning your ceiling fan blades and reversing the direction will help push warm air down when it’s cold. Inspect your attic and basement for leaks and openings where critters can get in. De-clutter your garage to make room for your car. Finally, wash your windows on the outside and consider pressure washing your deck, driveway, and the outside of your house.

Repair and Replace

Examine your roof for leaks or have a professional do it. Patch up small areas as needed or check to see if the roof needs replacing. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. If you don’t have them, install carbon monoxide detectors. Inspect appliance hoses for signs of leaks and be prepared to replace them every 3-5 years. Outside, check the status of your deck and driveway and make any necessary repairs. Inspect your trees and remove or have removed any dead limbs. Touch up exterior paint and consider repainting, if necessary, while the air is cool enough to open windows. While washing your windows, check for and repair any leaks or gaps in caulking and clean or replace the screens. Check to see that your gutters are working properly and clog free, and replace weather stripping on exterior doors if necessary. Keeping seals, hoses, batteries, filters and roof tiles up to date will go far in keeping your home running efficiently.

Prepare for Winter

Clean off and put away patio furniture and prepare your entryway for foul weather gear if you don’t have a mudroom. Check under kitchen cupboards and appliances for signs of pests and have screens installed behind gable vents to keep critters out of your attic. Wrap exposed water pipes along exterior walls and unheated areas of your home with heating tape to prevent them from freezing, and turn off valves to exterior water hose bibs. Disconnect water hoses and drain all the water out before storing. Clean your garden tools before storing them away and consider raking large leaves out of your lawn for compost or mulch, then aerate your lawn. Always be sure to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to confirm they’re in working condition, and definitely add fresh batteries.

This seems like a lot of work, and maybe it is; however, it’s less work than cleaning up after a leaky roof or busted pipe. Annual checkups on your appliances, chimney and fireplace, doors, windows, and roof can ensure that you catch small repairs before they become big ones.