Each season your home goes through changes in temperatures, weather conditions, aging, just as much as we do. In order to keep all your components of your home running smoothly, and to avoid costly repairs later, it’s helpful to conduct seasonal maintenance to prepare your home before every season. As the summer continues, this is a perfect time to prepare for Fall because depending on your climate, the fall season may be too late to prepare if it gets cold quickly. Regardless of your location, start these helpful tips now to save money and get prepared for the change in season.
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
Your roof is not always top of mind because it is not at eye level to give you a subtle reminder every time you walk past it. It is important to examine your roof always but it is especially important before the Fall/Winter to ensure that no heat escapes and no snow leaks in. Some things that you will need to look for are shingles that are loose, damaged, or missing. If there are, they should be replaced immediately. Check the flashing around your chimney as well as any other openings in the roof, such as skylights, etc. for leaking problems.
DO THE DIRTY WORK
After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and whatever else you may find in there. Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water and remember to tighten all gutter hangers and downspout brackets to prepare them for the extra weight of ice and snow. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts right away. TIP: If you find different coloured grit from asphalt roof shingles in your gutters, beware. That sand-like grit helps protect shingles from the sun. Look closely for other signs of roof damage (above) and prepare; it may be time for a roof replacement.
DON’T LET THE GREEN GRASS FOOL YOU
Examine the grounds of your property. Before the grass is covered with snow, or it is too cold to venture outside, check walkways for cracks and loose material. Fix walkway and entryway areas before slippery weather can cause a tripping or falling accident. While you’re out there already, take a close look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house. That way, you’ll keep water from soaking the soils around your foundation, which could also lead to cracks and leaks. If you’re not sure the slope is big enough – call a professional.
SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN
Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling specialist to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. Imagine your furnace broke down in the middle of winter? Prepare yourself for what’s to come and you’ll be happy that you did. While you’re at it – change the filters in your home. If you have a central air conditioning system, change the air filter regularly (usually every 2 months) but do so especially before each season. If you have a window air conditioning unit, remove it from the window or place a waterproof cover over it to prevent damage. Change filters in stove vents, clothes dryers and room fans if applicable. Clean air filters will keep your family healthier in the Fall months.
DRIP, DRIP, DRIP
You may have noticed your leaky faucets already and have decided to procrastinate because you’ve gotten used to the sound but before the temperatures start to dip low, examine leaky faucets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room locations. The time and money spent now to fix them will likely be less than a broken pipe in the middle of winter!
RING OF FIRE
Some people use their fireplace more often than their central heater in the fall and winter months, saving energy while getting that fabulous campfire smell. If you are one of these people, you’ll want to discard old ashes and ensure the damper is open to allow air to freely move through the chimney. If the air is becoming cold, close back the damper after cleaning. Remember to check the damper handle and springs to ensure that it is operating correctly and enjoy curling up on a cold winter’s night!
Check windows and doors for drafts. You should be doing this periodically throughout the year but you especially want to do this before the cold weather hits. The majority of conditioned air in your home is lost through the windows and doors so make sure you go through your home to ensure that the seal and caulking around the window and door frames are in good condition. Heating your home can be quite expensive, you want to avoid having your system working harder to replace the escaped heat.
Once you have taken your last plunge in the pool this summer, it’s time to clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture. Start by power-washing your outdoor furniture and cushions and once they are dry, say your goodbyes and store your cushions in a dry area to prevent cracking and fading over the fall and winter months. Once spring comes along, you will be pleased that you stored them and they’re ready for use!
Enjoy these last days of summer because they are going by a little too fast! Before you know it, we will be getting ready for the holidays. I know it’s hard to hear right now but make sure you get a jump start on your fall house maintenance because you will be happy that you did and your home will thank you for it!