Fall is finally here! As we say goodbye to the summer heat, we welcome the falling leaves, colder weather and eventually snow. As the colder weather approaches, we are reminded to take some extra steps to keep our home and family safe and warm.
Inspect the Roof
The colder weather causes lots of damage to a home especially when you live in an area that tends to get lots of rain, snow and ice. Think back to the past winter. Were there spots where snow built up? Did you have any issues with ice? Are the gutters sagging or in need of repair? These areas could need specific attention before the snowy weather arrives again.
After inspecting it for any repairs, you should remove any debris that can cause build-ups, which left can cause major water damage. Just like your roof, your eaves trough can collect leaves, sticks and other debris making it difficult for water to drain off your roof and can create opportunities for ice damming. Make sure to remove anything that could obstruct water from draining properly.
Remember to keep an eye on your roof throughout the cooler months for any problems that may develop. If you suspect a problem, do not get up on the roof yourself. Be sure to reach out to a professional for any maintenance and repairs throughout the year.
Prep the Plumbing
You can prevent damage to your outdoor hoses and your indoor pipes by ensuring that your outdoor taps are ready for the colder weather. Making sure to remove all hoses and storing them away inside will help prevent any cracks through the winter. These simple steps will help you prevent major damage to your home.
- Disconnect any hoses from outside
- Close the shut off valve to stop the water flow
- Open the outside faucet until it is completely drained
- Back inside unscrew the bleed valve to drain the remaining water
- Repeat for all additional outdoor taps
Check out the detailed steps here if you are unsure of how to properly winterize your taps.
Do you know when the last time your furnace filter was changed was? You should aim to change your furnace filter every 3-4 months. A dirty filter makes it difficult for clean air to circulate within your home and can drive up your heating bill by making your system work harder than necessary. Once a year it is also a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. They can help ensure your furnace is working efficiently and identify any issues that could lead to poor performance, often improving its life span.
Keep in mind to check that your furnace venting remains clear from any obstructions, especially when the snow arrives. If this vents become blocked, it will not only affect your furnace’s efficiency, but can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which can be fatal.
Below are some additional items to check while you are completing your regular maintenance.
- Check around your home’s foundation for any cracks
- Replace any exterior lightbulbs
- Inspect your windows for cracks, holes and other damage
- Trim any long or low hanging branches
Preparing your home is essential to save time, money and headaches that can accompany the cooler weather. Even though the cooler temperatures have started to creep in, there’s still lots of time to get your home ready!