Fall Maintenance Checklist For Southern Homeowners

It may not seem like fall in Florida most days of late, but the season is officially here. It may not mean as much to homeowners as it does to Northerners who have to begin winterizing their homes but there is plenty of Fall maintenance for Floridians to start working on around their house.

Here is a thorough Autumn maintenance checklist for Florida (or southern) homeowners.

1. Seal Windows and Doors
Typically, a year-round concern to ensure we aren’t losing precious cooled air; however, having set times through the year to inspect, repair or replace the seal around windows and doors is important. The changing of the seasons marks easy times to remember when to do this. Heated air is ever more precious—or rather expensive, so inspect well to avoid raised heating bills this coming season.

2. Inspect the Roof
Once the exits of your home have cleared your fall maintenance check list, its time to look at the next source of major repair concern. You’ll want to check from inside the attic as well as on top of your roof for potential problems such as:
• Missing, damaged, or loose singles
• Loose or damage seams
• Holes or other damage
• Water spots in the attic or on beams

3. Gutters and Downspouts
While you are up on the roof, check the gutters for any clogs and clear them. You may not see clogs in downspouts from where you are standing but you can still look for damaged downspouts or other areas along the edge that may need repair. Since rain is often infrequent at this time of year, you can check for clogs by running water from a house down each downspout to ensure it is clear of debris. This is important because bundles of leave and twigs invite bugs, snakes, birds, and other small animals to nest.

4. Garage, Sheds, and Other Outdoor Structures
Ensure holiday decorations are easy to pull out and are being put away properly. Messy garages can post as a major hazard—fire or liability wise—and can encourage pests to come and stay through the winter. Now is also a good time to make sure your lawn equipment, recreational vehicles (including motorhomes, boats, ATVS, etc.) are cleaned and ready to be stored—and then properly stored, if you won’t use them during winter.

5. Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, & Thermostats
The Fall season is often a dry season which means your home is at a higher risk for fire. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have been tested recently and have fresh batteries. While you are at it, review your thermostat to ensure it is properly programmed to kick on the heat or AC when you actually need it to.

6. Security System
Fall and Winter months are common times of the years for many homeowners to travel with several holidays lining up to pass one right after the other. Make sure you have these safety precautions in effect while you are away on vacation.

As an independent insurance company, we also recommend at this time of the year to review your homeowners insurance policy, car insurance, and other insurance you may have (for boats, RVs, and other items). If you aren’t sure where to start—or how to switch policies or carriers—contact your independent insurance agent at Magruder. We can help you identify the best policy to protect your interests and stay in your budget.

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