End of Summer Home Maintenance Checklist | DOBI

End of Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Plus Tips from Our Agents

Fall in Michigan means many things–football season, cider mills, pumpkin patches, and of course, cooler weather. When it comes to home maintenance, there are a few things you should knock off the “to-do” list before the weather cools down. We’ve put together a few maintenance tips for your home as we prepare to head into another season to prepare your home for colder months


Exterior painting requires warmer temperatures, so now is the time to address any spots on your home that need a touch-up! Remember, if your home is older, you may have lead paint. Be very careful when sanding – make sure you wear protective gear, including an air filtration system.


Although the strong force of the water from many power washing tools may be harmful to your home exterior – especially if you have vinyl siding, there are lower pressure models that you can use to clean up any moss build-up. Also, dirt and environmental factors take a toll on the exterior of a home. Pressure washing siding, windows, masonry, walkways, brick, and flagstone patios prevent environmental chemicals from breaking down mortar, paint, seals, and joints, which protect a home from moisture leaks.


Simply put, the grade or grading around your house is the level of the ground. The ground level and how it’s graded is the deciding factor of where stormwater will flow

DOBI Agent, Scott Pulus, shares that it’s a great idea to start looking at the grading around your home prior to fall because grading plays a major role in where the water ends up on your property. There are two types of grading: positive and negative. Positive grading is good, but you’ll want to keep watch for negative grading. Positive grading slopes away from your home, directing stormwater away from your foundation, while negative grading slopes toward your home, directing stormwater toward your foundation. When stormwater consistently collects near the home, issues can arise.

Improving the exterior grade so water flows away from the foundation will take pressure off the foundation walls since added pressure can cause leaks, cracks and foundation movement.


Smoke and carbon monoxide  detectors are two of the most important devices attached to an all-encompassing home security system. Both devices are life-saving tools, but to get the most out of them, they must work properly. This is where it’s important to check them to ensure they are working at their best.

We suggest doing a routine check 2-3 times a year. If yours are battery versus hard wire powered, now is a good time to replace the batteries with fresh ones. Just press the test button on your alarm and after a second or two it will make a loud siren or alert.


Temperatures and humidity influence the functionality of doors and handles. In the summer, moisture and humidity can cause doors and handles to expand and stick, and, in the winter, drier and colder conditions cause doors and handles to shrink and loosen.


Clean out your dryer vent, check your washing machine hoses, and check fire extinguishers and your toilet supply line, which are important checklist items from a safety point of view. Washing machine hoses are under considerable pressure all the time and if they are old and need to be replaced, a simple inspection can prevent a major flooding situation.

Have a professional check your overall system, and consider getting your ductwork cleaned every few years! By servicing your HVAC regularly, you can prolong the life of your system and decrease energy costs significantly… saving you money!

In addition, don’t forget about checking your HVAC systems. DOBI Agent, Vic Simjanoski, says that “In the heat of summer and the cold of winter, there could be nothing worse than a faulty HVAC system — have you ever been there? It usually chooses the worst time to fail… like on a 90-degree day, or Christmas Eve.”


Look for any issues needed to be corrected before the fall season. When weather conditions are favorable, it is easier to inspect for problems with decks, roofs, gutters, mortar, or foundation cracks, and the warmer temperatures are also favorable for making repairs. In cold weather materials like roof shingles can become brittle.


Believe it or not, your gutters are a vital part of your home. They safely divert water away from your home, so you can avoid serious and costly damages like foundation issues, structural problems, landscape erosion and more.

With gutters (or with clogged gutters!), water can pool around the foundation of your home, seeping into areas that are meant to remain dry – like your basement!

If it’s been a while since you’ve inspected your gutters, now is the time to ensure they are in tip-top shape. You’ll want to make sure they’re clear of debris and are secure and drain properly; add gutter guards or screens to help keep debris out.


One thing DOBI Agent, John Lionas, loves about summer in Michigan is that it can really extend into a nice Autumn with great weather. One of the first things he thinks of as a homeowner and as a Realtor who might give advice about how to transition a home for the changing seasons are having a professional winterize the sprinkler system and falling leaves. If you don’t have gutter guards, make sure your gutters don’t get plugged up with leaves. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, hire a professional.

He also likes to cut his own lawn, so in the fall time, he lowers the blade deck a couple of notches to get the grass nice and short. “It’s a big yard so instead of raking, I rig my rider to shred and mulch the leaves.”

One other thing is important to note for the season change: as nights get cooler, spiders start coming into the house to stay warm and survive. “I spray the inside and outside perimeter with Orkan Home Defense (that can be bought at a hardware store) just as a preventative measure. I don’t like spiders in my home.”