Fall Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners

You’ll be ready for winter’s worst and head off expensive repairs when you complete this checklist of essential fall maintenance tasks.

1. Stucco Service—Moisture is the enemy of stucco, and elements such as snow, freezing rain and ice can quickly damage stucco. Check for cracks or damaged parapets and have them repaired/sealed to avoid serious damage.
TIP: It takes a month for the stucco to set before painting so it’s really best to do this in fall.
2. Don’t be a Drip— Hoses still attached on outdoor faucets can back up water in the plumbing pipes. Garden hoses should be removed to prevent this from happening and ruining your pipes when sudden cold weather comes.
TIP: This should be done early to prevent cold snaps ruining your pipes.

3. Shut Down the Sprinklers—Be sure to drain your irrigation system. Above ground and buried lines can freeze leading to extensive repairs or replacement in the spring.
TIP: Don’t have drain valves? Then leave the draining to the pros.

4. Seal It Up— Use color-matched caulk to seal up all the openings on your exterior including door frames, windows, pipes, electrical and stucco. This helps prevent water penetration and seals energy wasting air leaks.
TIP: Pick a day with temperatures above 50 degrees.

5. Look Over the Roof—Use binoculars or get up on the roof to look for cracks in the sealant, missing or damaged shingles, standing water, damaged flashing etc.
TIP: Replace any damaged stuff.

6. Tune up the Furnace—Schedule an appointment with your heating and cooling pro to get your heating system a seasonal tune-up.

7. Prune the Bushes and Trees—Late fall is the best time to prune your plants and trees. Be sure to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house to avoid damage from trees when strong wind comes.

8. Check the Chimney—Grab a flashlight and look up inside your chimney and make sure you can see daylight when the damper is open. If not, call a chimney sweep.

Finish these maintenance tips before winter and it will save you a lot of trouble when spring comes.

Need a helping hand? Give Deanna Dopslaf a call at (505) 307-1129 or email her at for the names of our recommended vendors.