John's Blog


Preparing a Home for Autumn 2008

We're at the tail end of the summer season making it the perfect time to take a look around your home to see how well it is prepared for the Fall season. I've laid out my suggestion for a fall check-up checklist.

From northwest - autumn 2004

Walk around the interior checking the windows and doors for proper operation and weather tightness. 

Walk around outside to inspect the condition of all painted and sealed surfaces such as the walls, windows, doors and trim. All wood exposed to the weather should be properly sealed in some way to protect it from the harsher weather. Screens on ventilation openings for the roof/attic and the under-floor crawl spaces should be in good condition.

Clear away wood, storage, and debris and cut back foliage away from walls and roofs.  Debris on roofs and against structures cause deterioration by trapping moisture. Tree branches against roofs brush back and forth in the breeze wearing out the material prematurely.

Clear all rain gutter systems so water will flow quickly off the roof and away from the foundations of the home.


Clean all underground and above ground storm drain systems.

Repair any damage or deterioration to roof material, connections, decks, steps, railings and patio covers. Water can find its way into a building through the minutest opening. 

Check fences for damage and deterioration and check all safety latches, especially around pool and spas.

Have heating systems cleaned and professionally serviced to ensure safe operation. Minimally, replace dirty return air filters. Dirty filters cause the unit to work harder and use more electricity.

Have the chimney cleaned and inspected for structural stability and fire safety.

Properly maintaining a home and handling issues before they become problems saves money and extends the life of the various systems. It also helps keep the value in your home, which you will likely realize when it comes time to sell.

By John A. LaRocca, a licensed general contractor and member of the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). For other questions he can be contacted at (818) 951-1795 or

Comment balloon 3 commentsJohn LaRocca • September 16 2008 05:59PM


Great tips. You really need to schedule it (write it down to do on a specific day) for these things to get done.


Posted by Robin Gulledge, Cedar Park, TX ABR,CRS,GRI (Remax Capital City) almost 12 years ago

Great List of things to do, even here in Phoenix, we get ready for the winter.  We pull out our longer shorts and stuff!   LOL!  Enjoy yours!

Take Care & have a Great '08!

Posted by Sylvie Dolley, CHMS, ePRO, SFR Phoenix Arizona Real Estate 602-32 (My Home Group Real Estate LLC ) almost 12 years ago

Good list, and a great picture of those rooftop planters. I can't tell from the picture, but that almost looks like poison ivy growing in the gutters.

Posted by Not a real person over 11 years ago