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Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

By October 5, 2022February 24th, 2023No Comments
Washing exterior of a home

Owning a home comes with responsibilities.

In Alberta it is important in the fall to prepare your home and yard for our harsh winters, ideally before the snow flies and it gets cold.

Below is a checklist of what you should do outside and inside your home:

Outside Your Home

1. Remove debris from gutters

It is important to keep your gutters clean and free of debris to avoid clogs and blocks which can lead to leaks. Also be sure to check the gutter spouts and remove clogged wet leaves from there as well.

While you’re inspecting and cleaning your gutters, make sure downspout extensions drain at least 1.5 meters away from the foundation of you home.

If you don’t have a proper ladder, aren’t keen on heights or need help cleaning your gutters, we offer this service in our Calgary area. Learn more here.

2. Prep your lawn for winter

a. Rake leaves

It is very important not to leave a thick mat of leaves on your lawn. Learn more about this in our blog, “Raking Leaves: Is it Really Necessary?

b. Aerate

Aerating is “the single most important task you can perform to maintain a healthy, good-looking lawn. It relieves compaction caused by foot traffic and creates extra pore space in the soil, allowing air, nutrients and water to enter. All of that helps roots to thrive. “ (Source: Family Handyman) It is important to aerate your lawn once a year in either the spring or fall.

c. Apply lawn fertilizer

“Apply the fertilizer about three weeks before the last mowing of the season. Fertilizing in the fall provides energy and nutrients for the grass roots as they multiply in cooler weather before the grass goes dormant. The roots store food for the winter as well, which gives the grass an initial growth spurt when it emerges from dormancy in the spring.” (Source: Family Handyman)


d. Water

“Fall watering helps your lawn recover from summer stress and gain strength for the winter ahead. Also, if you fertilize in the fall, watering is necessary for the fertilizer to dissolve and soak into the ground where it’s needed.” (Family Handyman) After the ground starts to freeze, then stop watering your lawn.

e. Cut your lawn shorter

It is recommended to cut your grass a bit shorter for winter, 1-1/2” to 2”, to lessen the chance of snow mold. In addition, if your lawn is left too long, tall grass blades can lie down and smother new grass come spring.

If you need help prepping your lawn for winter, learn more about our lawn care services here.

3. Water and fertilize trees and shrubs

If you would like to learn about our Tree and Shrub Deep Root Fertilizer service, then click here.

Fall Tree and Shrub Deep Root Fertilizer is applied mid September to late October.

This application will increase the plant’s ability to produce and store energy reserves before freeze-up and will assist with winter hardiness.

4. Clean and store your lawn mower

5. Shut off the outdoor water supply

Turn off water valves in your home and drain remaining water from taps.

6.Powerwash siding and deck/patio and clean windows

Your home’s exterior should be washed regularly, just as you would your car.

If you have vinyl siding, most experts recommend that it should be cleaned once or twice a year in order to prevent build up of dirt and other contaminants.

We offer exterior home cleaning services in our Calgary location. Learn more here.

7. Winterize irrigation (sprinkler) systems and shut off water supply

8. Drain and put away water hoses

9. Vacuum lint from the dryer vent

“Check exterior exhaust hoods, specifically the dryer vent to ensure it is free of lint. Inspect the dryer vent connection and ensure it’s not kinked.” (Source: City of Calgary)

10. Check window wells

Walk around your house and check your basement window wells for standing water and any damage.

11. Empty soil from pots and planters and store

Storing pots and planters inside for the winter will help prolong their life. However, if you decide to store outside, be sure to empty the soil from the containers to avoid cracking planters when the moisture in the soil expands when frozen.

12. Winterize your landscaping

Add extra protection for your plants, shrubs and trees by putting mulch around them.




13. Clean and winterize any rain barrels

Properly disconnect your rain barrel to avoid leaking, freezing and damage.

14. Store lawn furniture inside or cover to protect from the elements

15. Prune trees and shrubs

We can do light pruning and shaping and trim dead branches from trees and shrubs up to approximately 12′ in height. Learn more about this service here.



16. Prepare you property for snow season.

“Before the snow flies and you start using your snowblower, take a few minutes to inspect your property. Remove rocks, dog tie-out cable, extension cords, holiday light cords and garden hoses. Then stake out paths that run near gardens so you don’t accidentally suck up rocks and garden edging. Mark your walk and driveway perimeters by pounding in driveway markers. If the ground is frozen, just drill a hole using a masonry bit and your battery-powered drill.” (Source: Family Handyman)

17. Inspect your roof and inspect your roof vents, vent caps and of course shingles.

18. Winterize gas barbeques

19. Fall is also a good time to install your Christmas lights

If you are tired of this annual task and would like to invest in permanent outdoor lighting, learn more here as we offer this service.



Inside Your Home

20. Change your furnace filter

In order to extend the life of your furnace it is important to change your furnace filter regularly.

21. Consider installing a smart thermostat.

“A smart thermostat that provides information to your smartphone is an excellent way to check on your home when you are away and also receive information on potential hazards. For example, many smart thermostats provide information on indoor humidity that can alert you to high risk of water leaks or flooding within the home. They may even offer alerts for low or high temperature that can provide warning of pipes freezing or fire hazards when you are not home.” (Source: City of Calgary)

22. Check your sump pump to make sure there are no issues

23. Check for air leaks around windows and doors and repair

Be sure to inspect weather stripping and check for damaged or completely missing caulking around windows and doors.

24. Clean your humidifier

25. Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

Ideally smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked monthly.

a. Change batteries

b. Check expiration date and replace if unit is expired

c. Test monthly

26. Clean your chimney

“If you have a wood burning fireplace, ensure your chimney is clean, and has a spark arrestor to prevent embers from floating out of the chimney and igniting the roof or any other nearby flammable material.” (Source: City of Calgary)

27. Drain your water heater

It is recommended to drain your water heater once a year to help prevent scale build up inside the heater.

Need Help?

If you need some help checking these items off your to do list, we can help with a number of them. Learn more about our residential services here.

To request a quote for any of our services, click here.


City of Calgary, Fall checklist

City of Calgary, Home and Property Maintenance, Maintenance checklists

Family Handyman, Fall Home Maintenance Checklist: 20 Things to Do Every Year

Better Homes & Gardens, The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist for Every Season