There’s a chill in the air, leaves are turning bright, and hunters are baiting deer in the woods. You know what that means: it’s fall in the U.P.! But before you head out to enjoy the colors, be sure to plan for your fall home maintenance tasks. 

Not sure exactly what your home needs to prepare for winter? No worries. We’ve put together this handy little October home maintenance checklist especially for U.P. homes. 

4 Reasons Never to Skip Fall Home Maintenance

We’ve intentionally restricted this month’s list to the most important October home maintenance tasks every homeowner should take care of. 

At first glance, it may seem like a lot to do—especially in these precious last weeks before the snow flies. But don’t worry! Most of these fall home maintenance tasks take only a few minutes to complete.

And, we can give you 4 very good reasons NOT to ignore them: 

  1. Your Health. Regular home maintenance helps ensure the air and water quality in your home stay within acceptable measures. 
  2. Your Safety. Proper home maintenance prevents accidents before they happen. 
  3. Your Property Value. As a home inspector I can tell you: the #1 root cause of declining property value is deferred maintenance. 
  4. Your Budget. Keeping your mechanical systems and home exterior in tip-top shape will help you avoid costly energy losses during the long winter ahead. 

If you’re feeling ambitious and your home is already in good shape you may be able to burn through all these fall home maintenance tasks in a day. If you feel less enthused about it and/or your home needs some TLC, make a game of ticking one or two off your checklist each day. Chances are you’ll be done before you know it! 

Even if you can’t quite swing the whole list, do be sure to complete the tasks we’ve marked with an asterisk. These priority tasks are especially critical for keeping your household and property safe! 

Your Upper Peninsula October Home Maintenance Checklist

The two key words for fall home maintenance in the U.P. are weatherize and winterize! Here are the top tasks you should put on your list to complete this October. 

Top Indoor Fall Maintenance Tasks to Do in October: 

  1. *Change Your Furnace Filter. A clean filter keeps your air clean. It also helps your HVAC system run more efficiently, saving you money. 
  2. *Insulate Your Pipes. This will help keep them from freezing. Wrapping your hot water pipes will also prevent heat loss and allow you to set your water heater to a lower temperature. 
  3. Weatherize. Air leaks are a major cause of energy loss in winter. Going through your home with a tube of caulk and/or covering leaky windows with window film will keep you far more comfortable when the winter winds blow. It will save you money, too! If you’re unsure how to perform any weatherization task, YouTube is a great resource. Check out this video for a short introduction to home weatherization. 

Top Outdoor Fall Maintenance Tasks for October: 

  1. *Service Your Gutters. Remove any leaves or debris from your gutters. Then flush with your hose to look for leaks. Repair any damage you find to help prevent ice damage and puddling in the winter months. . 
  2. Put Your Landscape to Bed. October is the last chance to clean up your yard and garden before snow flies. Now is the time to rake those leaves, give the lawn a final mow, and mulch and winterize your shrubs. 
  3. *Winterize Your Outdoor Plumbing. When you are done with your gutters and any fall planting, drain and put away your hoses. Shut off the water supply to your outdoor faucets, checking for leaks as you do. Then drain the faucet. Installing an insulated faucet cover will offer an added layer of protection. 

Keep in mind that this is just a short list of the most critical fall home maintenance items. October is also a good month to tackle larger projects before winter hits. For instance, if your heat bills are high and/or your home is very drafty, you may want to consider insulating your home and/or replacing old windows and doors. 

Stay on Top of Home Maintenance All Year Long

Monthly maintenance reminders help you stay on track with property upkeep so you can protect your home and family. 

As a courtesy to our customers, we will be sending U.P. home maintenance checklists like this one each and every month. If you would like to receive them, too, just contact us here and we will gladly add you to our email list!