By Enoch Omololu from Savvy New Canadians
Fall and winter home maintenance is one way to keep your homes equity positive. We would like summer to hang around indefinitely but the reality is, cold days are ahead. Fall is a good time to prepare your home for harsh winter conditions and the peculiar problems they bring.
Take preventive measures to avoid winter despair and ensure you cross off all the tasks on this fall and winter home maintenance checklist:
1. GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUT CHECKLIST
Remove all debris that has accumulated in gutters and downspouts. This will ensure that gutters can drain effectively and the water gathered goes to where you want it. A blocked gutter will result in water overflows and can lead to expensive damage from ice dams.
Check that gutters are in good condition (no sags or missing brackets) and repair where necessary. Take care when climbing ladders. Hire a professional if you are wary of heights.
2. ROOF MAINTENANCE
Visually examine your roof for any obvious signs of missing or buckled shingles. View the roof from a distance to avoid climbing.
Replace loose shingles and repair damaged portions immediately to avoid more serious problems that can occur when the snow starts to accumulate and freeze and thaw cycles begin.
3. DRAIN GARDEN HOSES
Water lines are a very important part of fall and winter home maintenance. Garden hoses should be removed from outdoor faucets, drained of water and stored away indoors, such as in a garage. When garden hoses are not disconnected, the water in them can freeze and expand resulting in burst hoses and/or cracked pipes.
If your outdoor faucets have shut-off valves located on the inside of your home, turn them off. Insulate all water pipes that are close to exterior walls and winterize the sprinkler system.
4. PREPARE GAS-OPERATED TOOLS FOR WINTER STORAGE
Check all your home tools and equipment before storing them for the winter. If they are gas-powered, either drain the gas (fuel) or add a fuel stabilizer to ensure that old fuel does not degrade and make your equipment difficult to start in spring. If you use a stabilizer, run the equipment for a few minutes to ensure the stabilizer gets to the carburettor.
5. FALL FURNACE TUNE UP
Don’t wait until temperatures drop to ensuring that your furnace is working efficiently. Replace the filter and service your furnace every 18 months. Hire a professional to conduct a full tune-up.