Fall Home Maintenance Checklist - Part I

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist - Part I

  • Stafford Family Realtors
  • 11/1/22

While the current temps may not reflect the changing of the seasons, Autumn is officially here to stay and we have a few Blog posts coming up for you with some helpful tips and tricks to prepare your home for the next season… the one that comes after Autumn… the one we don’t like to talk about. Well, it’s coming and it’s best to be prepared. In this post, we are going to focus on getting your yard ready while it's still warm enough to be outside! Keep reading for excerpts from MN Realtor on what you can do outside your home:

Put Your Lawn to Bed

Pulverize and Compost Leaves

Wait! Before you rake, bag, and toss, remember that there’s gold in them-thar leaves! Give your grass a nutrient-rich spa treatment by mowing leaves to smithereens. The debris will settle between the blades and produce compost loaded with soil-enhancing carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Your lawn will thank you with lush green growth in the spring.


Bring Out Your Dead

If areas of your yard are brown, bristly, and dying, chances are you’ve got a thatch problem.

Over the seasons, dead grass and other plant material settle at the bottom of your lawn, creating a dense barrier that keeps air, water, and nutrients from reaching the roots. If there are just a few spots, you can tear up the thatch with a dethatching rake. For more widespread dead zones, consider renting a dethatching machine. After clearing thatch, use a core aerator to increase airflow and stimulate microbes that will feast on the dead material and release nutrients. Finish off the project by sowing grass seed in the bare spots.


Feed Your Grass

As the weather cools, your grass needs a feast before it slumbers. Winter-formulated fertilizer helps roots absorb and store the nutrients for lush spring growth. If possible, do a soil test to determine the right fertilizer mix for your lawn.


Shut Off the Water

Turn off the valves supplying external faucets, drain the pipes, and stow the hose inside. If you have a lawn irrigation system, save some time and play it safe by contracting a professional service to clear the lines, and shut off the water.


Enter the Tao of Pruning

If you’re philosophical, you’ll shrug off the big dead oak hanging over your roof, knowing it will fall if it is meant to fall. If, however, you have a mortgage and a high-end insurance deductible, you know that if a tree falls during a January blizzard, the only sound that can be heard is your bank account draining.

So, apart from looking out for dying trees that could damage your house, this is a great time to remove dead growth and suckers from smaller trees, and prune bushes to improve their appearance. Not only will it look tidier, but the plants will produce healthier growth in the spring.


Go for the Gutter and Land on the Roof

Time to get vertical and head up the ladder for a gutter inspection. Fish out leaves, branches, and other debris, and don’t forget to check the downspouts for blockages. While you’re up there, take a good look at the roof. The Frisbee that landed there two years ago is now full of leaves, moisture, and a thriving moss colony that’s expanding on to and under the shingles. If left unchecked, it will cause a lot of damage. Clear off the leaves and other detritus and kill the moss and mold with a spray solution made from one cup of white vinegar and a gallon of water. And remember, never walk on a wet roof. If heights give you vertigo, call on the unemployed brother-in-law who’s been living on your couch since May. Or better yet, hire a roof maintenance pro.


Stow the BBQ, Fold the Lawn Chairs, and Shed a Tear for Summer

From beer brats to shrimp shish-kabobs, you had some epic cookouts. Now it’s time to dump the ash, clean the grill, and store the cooker in the garage or shed. Likewise for the lawn chairs and other outdoor furniture on your deck or patio. If you’re one of those hearty souls who keeps the coals burning through the dead of winter, be sure to invest in a cover that protects your barbecue from the elements.


Stay tuned for part II!

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