The leaves are finally giving it away: fall is here—and it’s time to take care of those fall home maintenance essentials that help prepare your property for the coming cold weather!

Students are rushing back to the Triangle area, the leaves are changing colors, and the weather is perfect for a picnic in Pullen Park. If you own a home, it’s also the ideal time to take care of some essential fall maintenance steps to keep your house in tip-top shape.

1. Clean the Fireplace

When the first cold morning arrives, you want to start a fire in your living room to chase the chill away while you enjoy your first cup of coffee. If you’ve got a gas fireplace, you’ll want to prime the pilot light so you’re ready to flip the switch. If not, it’s time to clean and make sure your chimney is soot-free. Schedule a Saturday to gather your tools (and/or hire a professional) and rid your fireplace of soot and other debris.

2. Get the Grill Ready

Whether you support the Blue Devils, the Wolfpack, the Rams, or another team, fall is the time for cookouts before the big game. Your grill may have been busy all summer—or maybe you’ve got a portable one for tailgating. Either way, it’s time to give your grill a good cleaning inside and out. Don’t forget to inspect the various parts and replace the propane if necessary.

3. Replace the Air Filter in Your HVAC System

Your air filter is the first line of defense for your HVAC system. By blocking dirt and debris, this filter helps improve the efficiency of your heating system and keeps the engine from running too hot or hard, creating the need for repairs.

4. Trim Tree Limbs

Fall is the season when everything begins falling off your trees (including branches!). If tree limbs extend over the roof or cars and fall onto your home or vehicles, the damage can be a big problem. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and trim back those limbs, or hire a tree service to safely remove dead or dying trees and limbs.

5. Fertilize Your Lawn

In cooler weather, the roots of the grass on your lawn expand and grow deeper. This makes it a great time to fertilize and to provide much-needed nutrients to the extended roots, so your lawn is lush and green in the spring.

6. Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

As the weather cools off, you and your family will be spending more time indoors and heating that space. Keeping your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in good operating order is smart protection. Many people check the batteries and functionality of their units when the clocks fall back (and its coming up in just a few weeks!). Or, get a jump on things and replace any broken units now.

7. Clean the Gutters

While you’re raking those leaves into piles, it’s the perfect time to clean them out of your gutters as well. Maintaining your gutters is the first line of defense against ice dams, protect your roof and foundations from possible water damage when it rains or snows.

8. Remove and Store Garden Hoses

With garden hoses attached to the faucet, water backs up into the pipe. Cold temperatures can cause this water to freeze, and the possibility of a burst pipe becomes all too real. Worse, a burst like this often occurs between the siding and garage wall, and those repairs are costly!

9. Inspect Windows and Doors

You want to keep the heat inside your home, not seeping out through small cracks and gaps in your windows and doors. A little caulking does the trick in many cases, and the temperate weather in the fall is great for drying it promptly.

10. Clean Outdoor Furniture

While it isn’t yet time to store your outdoor furniture for the winter, it’s a great time to go ahead and clean it. You can scrub down the cushions and frames. You’ll be ready to store it as soon as winter arrives, saving time in the cold.

Taking care of these fall home maintenance essentials will help keep your property on track for colder weather. But no matter what stage of homeownership you’re in, we’re here to help: from connecting you with home repair and other services, to finding your dream home. So when you’re ready to sell or want to explore your options for a new home, we hope you’ll contact us today

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