Each year, after homeowners cover their pools and shut off their sprinkler systems, there's a window of time during the fall when the weather is pleasant enough to get a head start on home maintenance. Winter's harsh temperatures involve additional heating costs, and can bring the risk of damages that require costly repairs. This can all ramp up stress levels during the holidays.

But taking some preventative actions now can pay dividends later when it comes to reducing the risk of issues that can become expensive insurance claims if left unchecked. Here is a brief list of quick and affordable maintenance must-dos homeowners can tackle indoors and out this autumn.

Rake and re-use leaves

The kids might really enjoy jumping in piles of leaves, but if those piles stay in the same spot through fall and winter, they can do noticeable damage to an otherwise attractive lawn. Without sunlight filtering through, grass is more likely to die and leave unsightly brown spots. When leaves get wet and lie stagnant, they can attract insects and develop an icky snow mold that will kill patches of grass beneath them.

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