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Autumn Checklist for Home Maintenance

With the cold, blustery winter months are just around the corner, autumn is the time to prep your home for the winter. Do what you can to prevent damage and keep your home humming along with this checklist for home maintenance for the fall season.

Autumn home maintenance

– Time to get pruning: Apart from the general garden maintenance of cleaning up spent greenery and pruning back plants, you should also be looking carefully at your trees, especially if you have large ones on your property. Do any of the branches look dangerous? If you see some limbs that look like they could break off in a wind or are too close to your house, get them removed. Heavy winds or an ice storm can result in branches falling and this can damage your property or your home.

– Consider icicles: If you often get icicles on your home, do a check of what would be in their path. For example, as The Family Handyman suggests, your AC unit may be positioned in such a way that it would be damaged from an icicle falling. They suggest the simple fix of putting a piece of plywood atop the unit.

– Clean up your property: Think about pending snow falls and clean up anything around your property that would get buried with a snowfall, like extension cords and water hoses for example. (And don’t forget to drain those water hoses so you don’t have to replace them next year!) You should also think about removing anything that could potentially be a hazard when masked with a dusting of snow, such as a protruding rock for example or an uneven section in your path.

– Think about your outside water sources: Here in Ontario, we know it’s going to freeze in the winter so it’s important to give thought to any outside water you have, such as an irrigation or sprinkler system and your outdoor water faucets. Drain the systems and shut off the valves. And if you have any water pipes that run along exterior walls, you may want to insultate them to prevent any freezing, such as wrapping them with heating tape.

– Check on your heaters and boilers: Your water heater and furnace should be checked regularly and it’s ideal to do so before the winter months, when you really rely on their proper functioning!

– Address any air leaks: If you have any air leaking around your windows or doors, now’s the time to mitigate these issues with weather-stripping and caulking. You want to do all you can to keep those heating bills as low as possible. Even if you already have weather stripping in place, it does lose its efficacy and deteriorate over time. If it’s been a long while since it’s been installed, it might be time for a touch up. You can either do the paper test (close the door or window on a piece of paper, if it easily slides, you need more weatherstripping) or the candle test (hold a candle near the frame – but not too close! – and look for the flickers that indicate a leak).

– Clean your gutters: Yes, this is a dreaded chore for many, but it’s an important one to ensure that water flows where it should. Check those downspouts too while you’re at it. Otherwise, you could have some water damage on your hands. You can also consider installing guards on your gutters to prevent the leaf and debris build up in the first place.

– Get your chimney checked: If you have a fireplace, it’s important to get it cleaned regularly. So if you’re using a fire to keep warm all winter, and even if you only use your fireplace sporadically, make sure your chimney is ready for the task. Fireplaces should be checked once per year at least.

– Double check that your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are working: Their batteries should be check regularly and it’s a great idea to get in the habit of doing so each fall.

– Get stocked up: This is also the ideal time to check your stock of winter supplies. Make sure you have enough shovels, that your snowblower is working properly or that you have enough de-icing salt on hand. Better to do this now, than to be scrambling after the first snow fall.

Following the above maintenance suggestions can go a long way to ensure that your home stays safe and sound during the winter months. If you’re unsure about any of the above recommendations and how to get them done properly, it’s always best to consult with a professional.

With the above covered, once the snow and ice hits it’s a good idea to do a winter inspection of your home to check on the winter proofing you did and how your home is holding up to the cold temperatures. Learn more here.

You can check out some more resources on fall maintenance for your home here:

And if you have any questions about home insurance or want to get a better understanding of how any damage can affect your rates, get in touch with us today. Or zip over here if you’d like to get an online quote.

 

Image source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net | PaulR

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