Tackle These 8 Home Maintenance Tasks This (and Every ) Fall

Welcome to fall: the time of year best known in Southern Ontario for falling leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and, of course, the return of NHL hockey.

29th, Sept

Rego Realty Inc., Brokerage

This season, as the temperature cools, rain turns to snow, and you again rely on your home for warmth and comfort, you’ll want to feel confident that your home is in “game shape”!

Here are eight home maintenance tasks that every Southern Ontario homeowner should take care of this fall.

1. Clean Your Gutters

As leaves fall, they accumulate in your gutters and prevent them from doing their job: directing water away from your home. This becomes an issue in the winter when the snow that’s sitting on your roof rapidly thaws. If water gets stuck, it’ll freeze, put weight on your gutters, and, potentially, force snow and ice under your shingles — and water into your home.

Plan on cleaning out your gutters later this fall once all of the leaves have fallen. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a pro. It’s worth it.

2. Check Your Roof

Your roof plays two vital roles as the weather cools: it keeps you dry and warm.

If shingles and flashing are damaged, curling, cracking, or falling off, you could have water leaks once ice and snow start accumulating toward winter.

Once the snow arrives, it’ll be much harder to find and resolve problems. Inspect your roof early in the season — professionally if needed — and repair accordingly.

3. Check for Foundation Cracks

This will be the third point in the row where we talk about snow, which we understand will probably make you cringe if you’re reading this on a 24° day! But, it’s a part of fall here in Southern Ontario and something you need to prepare for.

Like your roof and gutters, your foundation protects your home from water intrusion that can stem from snow accumulation. Cracks in your foundation make it easy for water to seep in and cause problems in your basement.

You’ll want to set aside some time, walk the perimeter of your home, search for cracks and, if you find them, seal them to prevent them from expanding. This is often an inexpensive fix that can save you a lot of money and frustration short and long-term.

4. Furnace Maintenance

Just as you can’t afford to have your AC quit during the summer, an unexpected furnace failure in the winter can be incredibly inconvenient, uncomfortable, and, potentially, make your home unlivable.

Clean and replace your filters (you should do this regularly) and contact a licensed HVAC specialist to inspect and service your furnace before winter.

5. Fireplace Inspection and Cleaning

How often should you inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney? According to the National Fire Protection Association, once a year.

This is important not only to ensure smooth operation but to prevent chimney fires due to creosote – the buildup of wood tar, vapors, and moisture. This is something that, ideally, you should do in the spring. But, if it’s been a while, get it done before winter.

6. Shut Off Your Outside Water Supply

Sure, we may not get extreme cold temperatures until deeper into winter, but when it happens, you’ll want to feel confident that your pipes won’t burst.

Later in the season, when there’s little to no practical use for it, shut off the water supply to your hose and run the water until the pipes are empty. This ensures there’s nothing left to freeze and cause damage.

7. Seal It Up!

Gaps and cracks can cause drafts and leaks and allow rodents to find their way into your home. Here are some hot spots to watch for and fix:

  • Garage Door: make sure they operate smoothly, remote batteries are changed, and that weatherstripping is secure and in good shape.
  • Windows and Doors: we spend a lot to heat our homes in the winter. Make sure you’re not heating the neighbourhood as well by applying caulk to windows and door frames where cracks and gouges are present.

8. Safety Check

The last thing anyone needs at this point is a health scare. With that in mind, you’ll want to tackle these maintenance tasks immediately:

  • Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, put in fresh batteries, then test them. They’ll save your life; it’s time well spent.
  • Inspect your exterior railings and stairs to ensure they are sturdy and able to support you.

An Investment in Your Home’s Health

Some time, effort, mindfulness, and, yes, a bit of money: often, that’s all it takes to keep your home running smoothly. And, when you invest to make sure your home’s systems are running optimally, you’re also extending their lifespan which saves you money in terms of emergency repairs and early replacement.

Be good to your home, and your home will be good to you!

source: Rego Realty Inc., Brokerage