Fall has officially arrived. Is your home ready for the cooler weather and what comes with it? Click on the image to the right to download a free, printable Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.

1. Insulate the Water Heater Touch your home water heater. If it's warm, wrap the appliance in a fiberglass insulation blanket. These types of blankets will save you energy - and, therefore, money - and are available at your local home improvement or hardware store.

2. Protect Outdoor Faucets A frozen faucet outdoors can result in a burst pipe indoors, and you don't want that costly and messy problem. Start by removing any hoses to outdoor faucets, then shut off their water supply and drain the water. If you forget a faucet and notice icicles after a freeze, turn a hair dryer on it and then perform the task above.

3. Check the Fire Extinguisher Make sure this important safety tool is stored somewhere visible and easily accessed. Check the tamper seal and pull pin. If either is broken or missing, or if you notice any other damage, put a new fire extinguisher on your shopping list. Also check the pressure gauge to ensure proper pressure. Finally, wipe down the hose and nozzle with a damp cloth to remove any debris that could prevent it from working. This task should be performed monthly.

4. Prevent Energy Leaks From Electrical Outlets Did you know that wall sockets are a source of air leaks? They are, and you can help prevent heat loss in the winter by installing foam gaskets behind them.

5. Clean the Gutters Clogged gutters send rainwater down exterior walls, causing water damage to siding and masonry and allowing it to pool against the foundation and potentially leak into your home. Water trapped in gutters also can freeze, and the weight can cause the gutters to pull away from your home. Once the leaves begin to fall, clear your gutters and continue to keep them clear throughout the season.

6. Inspect the Exterior Do a visual check of the entire exterior of your home. Look for cracks and damage to siding, masonry and the roof, and also for signs of water leaks. This is also a good time to remove any bird or squirrel nests before they cause damage. Perform any needed repairs before winter weather arrives.

7. Check and Clean the Chimney While you are up on the roof, take a close look at your chimney, also looking for damage and removing any animal nests. Schedule a professional cleaning, especially if it's been a few years since you last had it done.

8. Repair Window Caulk Windows are another source of energy leaks, and caulk can help prevent them if it's in good condition. Look at all of your windows and reapply if you see brittle, cracked or separated caulk.

9. Fix Window Screens Now that the weather has turned cool, you likely want to open a window or two. Fix any holes or tears in screens. And while you are in and out of the house performing this task, check your pavers for any needed cleaning or repairs.

10. Fertilize the Lawn Your lawn loves the fall. The cooler nights, ample rainfall and morning dew create ideal conditions for healthy growth. Give it the nutrients summer depleted with fertilizer. It will strengthen roots and increase nitrogen storage before winter arrives.

If you need help performing any of the items on this fall maintenance checklist, give your professional handyman a call. He or she will be happy to pitch in so you can enjoy the lovely fall weather.

Read more about, seasonal home maintenance checklists and schedules.

Maintain-Logo Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service now online.