08 Oct 6 Fall Home Maintenance Tips
How to Winter Ready Your Home
Fall is here, whether you love it or hate it, so Huronia Insurance Group offers a few fall home tips.
With fall comes the promise of everything Pumpkin Spice and the daunting shadow of winter. Fall is the perfect time to winter ready your home and get it ready for the cold winter and wet spring seasons ahead.
Here are six fall home maintenance tips to ensure that your home is ready for the next six months. You may not feel comfortable completing some of these tasks on your own. If so, please hire a professional to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your home this winter.
Our Top 6 Fall Home Tips
Clean Out Gutters
Cleaning out your gutters is number one on our list of fall home tips. Although it may not be everyone’s favourite chore, cleaning gutters is essential. Blocked gutters and drainpipes can cause water to back up and ultimately damage your roofing and home. The overpour can also get into your foundation or decking. Gutters are also a favourite nesting place for all sorts of wildlife, which may eventually make your attic their new home.
You will want to ensure that all leaves and debris are removed from the gutters. The water should be able to flow freely through the system. When cleaning your gutters, ensure you are following all required safety practices or connect with your local gutter cleaning service.
Inspect Your Furnace
With crisp mornings and chilly evenings, it’s inevitable that your heater will be kicking on soon. This brings us to number two on our list of fall home tips. Before you turn on your furnace, you should replace your furnace filter. This simple task will keep the air in your home clean and keep your furnace working in peak condition (which will help save money on heating costs). Furnace filters may be replaceable or washable – check to see which option your furnace is equipped with.
Once you’ve got your heat running, you will want to make sure that each room is being heated. To ensure this, you should clean out your heating vents and remove any furniture that may be covering the vents. It is advisable to call a professional for a furnace inspection at least once a year if you have a gas furnace. This will ensure that it your gas furnace is running as safely and efficiently as possible. A yearly furnace inspection can also help extend the life of your furnace.
Turn Off Outside Water for Winter
Fall home tip number three is very important. There is nothing worse than a burst water pipe in the dead of winter (I can assure you of this from personal experience). But avoiding frozen and burst pipes is one of the easiest things to do. Simply turn off your outside water for the winter and drain all exterior water sources.
First, you want to shut off the hose bib inside your home and turn it to the off position. Next, remove and disconnect any hoses and drain out any remaining water. Hoses are best stored indoors for the winter. Next, you want to ensure that all water in the system is removed. To do this, simply turn on all outdoor faucets. Finally, place a bucket under the shut-off valve indoors and drain any remaining water by bleeding the valve. If you are unsure about any of these steps, please contact your local hardware store and they will be able to provide you with more detailed instructions for your specific water system.
Don’t forget to drain and flush out any water from inground sprinkler systems or outdoor pools, as per the manufacturers’ instructions.
Inspect Your Roof
Taking care of your roof is fall home tip number four. Fall is the perfect time to check your roof for any damage and ensure your winter is not spent with a leaky roof. Most Canadian roofs are made of asphalt shingles, which last 15-20+ years if installed correctly. If your roof is approaching this age it is vital to check for deterioration and replace your roof as soon necessary.
You will want to inspect your roof for any loose, missing, or worn out shingles, as well as check for mold and rot. From inside your attic, you want to check for any signs of leaks or water damage, as well as ensure that no critters have made a home there. If you do not feel confident inspecting your roof or attic please contact a local professional.
Test Home Safety Devices
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Number 5 on our list of fall home tips is make sure you test and replace the batteries in both of these devices on each floor of your home. This is also the perfect time to check that your fire extinguishers are not expired or due for a safety inspection.
Do Your Yard Work
With the beautiful fall colours comes a downpour of leaves and of course the dreaded raking season. Here’s the last of our fall home tips – clear your lawn of leaves and cut your lawn before winter. This will prevent animals and insects from nesting in your lawn. This is also the perfect time to plant bulbs, so your spring is bright and cheery. While you’re completing the last of your yard work, make sure you take the time to inspect any trees. Remove any damaged or weak branches that may be susceptible to damage from a winter storm.
Thanks for reading our fall home tips blog. Home maintenance is essential since we all need to winter ready our home. If you decide to make any renovations to your home this fall, please be sure to speak to your insurance broker. You will want to make sure you still have all the coverage you need and that your home is Insured to Value.
This Forbes article also suggests a more detailed Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.
About Huronia Insurance Group
For nearly two and a half decades our Huronia home insurance brokers have been servicing clients throughout southern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).