An End of Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

As summer winds down and the fall chill looms just around the corner, homeowners should prepare to transition their homes for the changing seasons. Proper home maintenance is not just about keeping your space neat and clean. It also helps protect your investment and enhances the longevity of your house. The change of seasons is also an excellent time to consider rejuvenating your home with new furniture or a suite of kitchen appliance packages to ensure your space is cozy for the upcoming cold months. Use our checklist of end of summer indoor and outdoor maintenance tasks to ensure your home is ready for fall and winter.

Inspect the Roof

With its intense heat, strong winds and occasional storms, summer weather can take a toll on the roof’s integrity. Summer storms, hail and high winds can cause damage to the roof deck, underlayment and shingles. A damaged or compromised roof can lead to water leaks, which may cause structural damage, mold growth and costly repairs if not addressed promptly.

Carefully walk around the roof, inspecting each shingle for any visible damage. Look for signs of cracking, curling, blistering or missing shingles. Pay attention to any loose or damaged flashing around chimneys and vents. If you notice minor damage, such as loose shingles or small cracks, you may be able to fix them using roofing cement or sealant. However, it’s best to hire a professional roofer for more significant issues.

Clean the Gutters and Downspouts

Leaves, branches and other debris can accumulate on the roof during summer, blocking gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters cannot efficiently channel water away from the house, leading to overflow and potential water damage to the roof, walls and foundation. Ensuring a clear roof surface helps maintain proper drainage and prevents water from seeping into the home during the rainy season.

Start by removing large debris from the gutters by hand. Use a garden trowel to scoop out leaves, twigs and other debris. Place the collected debris into a bucket or onto a tarp on the ground. If stubborn debris is stuck to the gutter surface, use a gutter or scrub brush to loosen it. Gently scrub the inside of the gutter to dislodge any dirt or buildup. After removing most debris, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to flush out the gutters. Start from the farthest end from the downspout and work toward it. This helps ensure any remaining debris is washed toward the downspout. Once the gutters and downspouts are clear, consider installing gutter guards or screens to prevent leaves and larger debris from entering and clogging the gutters during the fall.

Clean the Gutters and Downspouts

Prepare the Garden

Preparing the garden is essential as summer transitions into fall. Begin by trimming bushes and pruning trees to remove overgrowth and promote healthy growth during the coming seasons. Clear away dead plants and debris to create a tidy and aesthetically pleasing landscape. Adding a layer of mulch around the plants helps insulate the soil during winter, preventing frost heaving and maintaining moisture levels, which is particularly important in colder climates. While some plants thrive in the fall, consider adding fall-friendly flowers to keep your garden vibrant. Chrysanthemums and pansies are popular choices, bringing rich colors and a touch of beauty as other plants begin to fade.

Another crucial aspect of garden preparation is draining and storing outdoor hoses and faucets. Any water left in hoses can freeze as temperatures drop, leading to potential damage. Disconnect hoses from faucets, drain any remaining water and store them indoors in a dry location. Turn off outdoor faucets and drain the water supply to prevent freezing and potentially burst pipes. Taking these precautions ensures that your outdoor water supply remains intact and avoids costly repairs.

Clean Deck or Patio and Store Summer Furniture

After months of heavy use during the warm summer months, inspecting and maintaining your deck or patio and summer furniture is essential. Thoroughly check for loose boards, nails or screws on the deck and tighten or replace them to ensure safety and structural integrity.

Clean the surface to remove dirt and stains using appropriate deck cleaners and brushes. Apply a protective seal or stain to extend the life of your deck or patio, guarding against moisture and UV damage. Also, replace burnt-out bulbs in outdoor lights and consider installing motion-sensor or timer-based lighting for added security during the darker months.

For summer furniture, clean each piece thoroughly with mild soap and water and store cushions in a dry area after laundering removable covers. Protect furniture from harsh weather by storing it indoors or using weatherproof covers. Proper maintenance enhances the appearance of your outdoor space and preserves the furniture’s lifespan.

Inspect Windows and Doors

Inspect windows and doors for drafts to ensure energy efficiency and comfort during colder months. Addressing drafts can save up to 30% on your energy bill and prevent uneven temperatures and potential water infiltration.

Eliminate drafts by replacing worn weatherstripping and re-caulking to seal gaps around windows and doors. Also, seal visible cracks and gaps in the frames with caulk or expandable foam. You can also use door sweeps to seal gaps at the bottom of exterior doors. Consider installing storm windows and doors for extra insulation in harsh climates or installing window coverings like thermal curtains to reduce heat loss. Regular inspection and maintenance of your home’s windows and doors enhances energy efficiency and protects against winter weather challenges, providing a comfortable environment.

Service HVAC System

Your air conditioning system has likely been working hard throughout the summer to keep your home cool. By the end of the season, it may have accumulated wear and tear, making it important to address any issues before they worsen and avoid costly repairs down the line.

Schedule a professional inspection and maintenance for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This should include changing filters, cleaning the ducts and ensuring the system operates optimally. The end of summer is the ideal opportunity to upgrade your central HVAC system to an energy-efficient mini split. Mini split systems are highly energy-efficient compared to central HVAC systems. With no ductwork, which can lead to energy losses, mini splits deliver conditioned air directly to the desired area, reducing wasted energy, which can lower your utility bills by up to 30%.

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Safeguard your family by testing all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure proper functioning. Replace batteries and ensure they are functioning correctly. Smoke detectors are essential for early fire detection, providing critical time for evacuation. Carbon monoxide alarms detect this odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly in high concentrations. Regular testing ensures these life-saving devices work as intended, providing peace of mind and safeguarding your loved ones. If you have a chimney and fireplace, hire a professional to inspect and clean it at least once a year. Creosote buildup, a byproduct of burning wood, can accumulate inside the chimney and become a fire hazard.

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Service Kitchen Appliances

Service your kitchen appliances regularly for optimal performance and efficiency. Keeping your kitchen appliances well-maintained saves money on repairs and replacements while creating a functional and enjoyable cooking space. Proper maintenance also extends the lifespan of appliances, reduces energy consumption and prevents safety hazards.

Clean refrigerator coils, replace water filters and inspect dishwasher hoses for leaks. Check oven and stove functionality. Defrost and deep clean the fridge and freezer. Clean ovens and stovetops to avoid stains and grease buildup, and regularly descale and clean small appliances like kettles and blenders.

If your appliances look worse for wear, consider upgrading them at the end of summer. Purchasing high-quality appliances like ZLINE ensures a functional and stylish kitchen for the upcoming seasonal festivities.

Maintain Your Home for a Cozier Fall

From garden maintenance to home HVAC upgrades, the end of summer can be a busy time for homeowners, but a proactive approach to home maintenance can pay off, ensuring your space is warm and inviting when the weather turns cold.