While the changing fall colours are beautiful, it is an excellent reminder to take care of a little routine maintenance. We all know just how short the fall season can feel in Ontario. This is why it’s a crucial time to make sure your home is in tip-top shape for when the snow begins to make its appearance. Luckily for you, we’ve got our list below of some of the best fall home maintenance tips! This way, when the leaves change, your home will be prepared for everything and anything.
1. Clean your eavestroughs and gutters
When it comes to home maintenance, cleaning the eavestroughs and your gutters is a crucial step. Throughout the summer season, they likely now have a significant build-up of leaves, seeds, sticks, and other debris. The temptation is to wait until the leaves have fallen, but in truth, you should do it again as a lead-in to winter. After all, water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims. Cleaning your eavestroughs plays a huge step in making sure your home doesn’t flood.
2. Inspect the roof
While you are cleaning up the eavestroughs, do a roof spot check. It’s one of the most forgotten tasks when performing fall home maintenance. What you want to look for is any missing shingles, loose or warped roofing, and/or any debris that may be building up. In some cases, you may be able to fix them yourself, but if it seems daunting, hire someone. The last thing you want is to injure yourself seriously.
3. Check your weather-stripping and seals
As the weather cools down, the biggest reason for turning up the thermostat is heat loss. To keep the hot air in, check around windows for places that may need new caulking. Also, check your weather-stripping to ensure its integrity. If you find questionable places, replace it! It’s a simple and usually cost-effective way of keeping your house warm in the cooler months.
4. Drain the hose and put away tools
Fall is generally the time when you’re going to be doing a lot less gardening. As such, you can start to put away the majority of your gardening tools. In the same vein, drain your hoses, disconnect them from the line, and put them out for the season. Water that is stuck in your hose over the winter can freeze it and cause it to expand. This can damage your hose come summertime. You should also clean outdoor taps and close water valves to all outside fixtures!
5. Winterproof the AC unit
Let’s face it, any hot days that come from September on are going to be a blessing, so it’s time to retire the AC for the year. If you have window-based units, the takedown is easy. For exterior units, covering them up from the elements is also reasonably straightforward. There is nothing worse than having the first warm day of the season roll around, only to realize your AC unit is broken.
6. Get your heating system inspected
Depending on the type of heating system you use, having a professional come and inspect the system is crucial. Ensuring the integrity of the systems, checking for any leaks, and confirming efficiency will give you peace of mind and save you money. You should also check for carbon monoxide levels and change out air filters.
7. Chop down tree limbs
Chopping down tree limbs is a crucial step in Fall home maintenance. The last thing you want to do when the temperatures drop significantly is to spend time chopping tree limbs. Get ahead of this laborious maintenance while the weather is still warm! Falling limbs in the winter due to ice and snow build-up is a common cause of home damage. A little time spent now can save you from life-altering moments later!
8. Fertilize the lawn
This may not seem like something you’d typically do before the colder months, but applying lawn fertilizer in the fall will help prevent damage over the Winter and weeds in the Spring. Ask your local garden center about the different types of fertilizers, and which one you will need to apply. This may be the difference in having a nice green lawn come the warmer months!
9. Check smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers
Whether it’s firing up the furnace, oven, or fireplace, fire damage can be devastating. To mitigate the threat, spend a few minutes checking your smoke detector batteries and performance. At the same time, check on your fire extinguishers and remind family members where to find them, if needed.
10. Inspect the chimney
Make sure there are no blockages or damage to the integrity of the chimney. Not only is this a good way to keep your chimney working properly, but it is a good chance to check and make sure no critters have made a home in your chimney during the colder months. You can do a check from on top of the roof and also by looking up from inside. Use a flashlight or attach a camera to a pole to help in your inspection. If you have any concerns, do not dismiss them. Call a professional immediately if you want a second opinion from a skilled tradesman.
11. Look into a programmable thermostat
Nowadays, digital thermostats are a thing of the present. If you already have a programmable thermostat, be sure to set it to lower the temperature automatically in the evening or when you’re not home. This can result in substantial cost savings.
12. Put away patio furniture
Some home maintenance tips can be easy, but very important! During the colder months, you won’t be making much use of your patio furniture, so time to pack it away! Be sure to clean it, remove seat cushions, and store it all somewhere dry for the winter.
13. Keep critters out!
When the colder months come around, many critters such as mice, bugs, and other rodents look for places to stay warm. It is super important to make sure your home or outdoor dwellings, like your shed, are not one of them! In addition to sealing your doors and windows for heat, it is important to look for any other points of entry into your home, basement, or attic that can be desirable for critters to hide. The last thing you’d want is a family of mice making a home in your BBQ or basement, and spreading disease within your home.
14. Properly store your BBQ
The last thing you want is to open your barbeque next season, only to find the weather has completely ruined it. Closing your barbeque up properly is also a good method of making sure you don’t have any unwanted pests or critters making a home in it. If possible, try and store it somewhere safe, like the shed or the garage. If your barbeque is larger and can’t be moved, a simple cover will do the trick to keep it safe!
15. Close the pool
Last but definitely not least, if you have a pool in your backyard, it’s time to close it for the season. If you’re unsure of how to do so yourself, you can schedule a professional to come and drain it for you.
Are you worried about natural disasters? Don’t know if you have coverage if an old sewer pipe deteriorates in your front yard? Speak to your isure insurance broker today to discuss your current home insurance needs, reduce your liability potential, safeguard your valuables, and be better prepared for worst-case scenarios. Once you’ve followed these fall home maintenance tips, you’re now ready to take on the cool, autumn weather. Happy fall!