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Neighborhood Expert: Top 10 fall home maintenance reminders

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA and D.C. with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or

It’s been a rough summer with the weather and the toll it’s taking on some houses.

Before it gets cold, now’s a good reminder to take care of some things around your house to prevent damage later. Service provider referrals are my favorite ways to help homeowners, so please feel free to reach out if you need someone specific:

  1. Clean your gutters (Gutterman Services, Maple Leaf) 
  2. Change the batteries in your smoke detector (yes, even if it’s hard wired)
  3. Take care of your lawn — Fall is the time to aerate and fertilize if you want better grass next spring!
  4. Check your down spouts to make sure they’re extended away from your home
  5. Clean your chimney before you use it!
  6. Fall service on your HVAC (this should be done twice a year, but if you have a whole house humidifier which is used in the winter, make sure it’s clean and not moldy before you turn it on)
  7. Check your trees. I’ve seen lots of trees fall in the recent storms. I can’t stress this one enough — even if you think it’s leaning away from your home, get it checked.
  8. Check your windows and garage door for wood rot. Rain/snow will make it worse.
  9. Check your attic for any daylight — if you have even the smallest entry point, critters will find a way inside as the weather gets colder. You can look around for droppings or disrupted insulation for hints of unwanted tenants.
  10. Seal your deck. Stain or paint — your choice.

Take care of your home and it’ll take care of you!

Photo via Timothy Eberly/Unsplash

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