Fall Home Maintenance Checklist – Santa Cruz Mountains

architecture-autumn-bench-206673 Free pexels dot com 092418

Regardless of whether you rent or own your home, these tips can save you money, keep you warmer, help you breathe cleaner air and even keep you safe.     Even though today it’s a warm late summer day, the first day of fall is right around the corner on September 22nd!       Make good use of the wonderful weather while it’s still light after work, and over the next few weekends as you check things off this list.

brown beside fireplace near brown wicker basket
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

If you use a chimney cleaning service, call early to schedule this annual maintenance before the rush.    Creosote build-up is dangerous.   Use the sun’s remaining warmth this fall to make sure your wood pile for the winter is dry: burning dry wood reduces unhealthy smoke for everyone.   Check your wood pile covers and tarps for gaps and tears and replace or repair if necessary.


Check your heater thermostat batteries & change the filter.    If you have pets, plan to change filters every 60 days; if not, every 90 days.    If you turned the pilot light off for the summer, you may want to relight and test it before the first cold snap.   If you haven’t had your heater serviced recently, consider calling a professional in before the rush.

Check to see if any outdoor safety light bulbs have burned out.   The days are already getting shorter, and the time change will be on November 4th this year.

Gutter cleaning Free C21 Online shutterstock_215924530-900 092418Make sure debris is swept off the roof.  Clean out gutters and downspouts before the first rain, which is often sometime in October in the SLV.    Meanwhile, a clean roof adds a measure of fire safety.   While some homeowners do this themselves, others prefer to hire the task out – in either event be extra cautious around power lines and risk of falling.

Some overhead fan blades’ direction can be switched twice a year.   This can save on heating or cooling bills.

Insulate exposed water pipes.    While it’s not likely to freeze for several months, once it gets cold you may not be outside as often to notice which pipes could use insulation.

Trim any tree limbs that have grown to overhang the roof, chimney, power lines or walkways.   This helps with fire safety throughout the year.   Keep in mind that limbs will droop a lot from weight once they get heavy with rain.   During the winter this extra weight and winds can cause some limbs to break and fall.

Stock up early on flashlights, candles, water and emergency rations.

FALL driveway view(2) off C21online 092418
Autumn Road

If you have a generator, perform any routine maintenance, change out the gasoline, and fill up a few gas cans.

Sharpen up your chain saw blade so you can pitch in if storms drop a branch in your street.

Form a neighborhood work party to check and clear fall leaves and other debris out of road culverts and drainage ditches so water doesn’t back up, flood or even wash a road out.

Decks will last a lot longer with maintenance, including cleaning out the debris lodged between surface planks, scraping off mosses which can retain water, and treating with a water repellant sealer.

Check the weather stripping around your windows and doors and replace what’s come loose.   This will cut down on drafts and heat loss.    Well placed caulking can help prevent rain leaking in when the storms start blowing sideways, and is a relatively easy do-it-yourself maintenance task.

Living in the Santa Cruz mountains is a wonderful experience that can be especially rewarding when you’ve taken time to prepare.     As my dad is fond of saying, “Winter’s coming!”

Fall Snowball bush

July’s CA statewide median home price was $591,460, down 1.9% from June, up 7.6% from July 2017.

San Lorenzo Valley July median home price $680,000; up 6.25% over July 2017


MC Dwyer (CA DRE#01468388) is affiliated with Century 21 Showcase REALTORs

Whenever you have real estate questions,    just text or call MC at (831) 419-9759, or, 012_Fireplace by Michael Eckermane-mail me at mcd@mcdwyer.com

I’d love to help you buy or sell your home.

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