Ultimate Fall Home Maintenance Tips for Vancouver Island

Ultimate Fall Home Maintenance Tips

 1. Take it from the top.

Inspect your roof for damaged, loose, blistering or missing shingles. It's also a good idea to inspect the siding and foundation on your home for any cracks or leaks. You don't want to be dealing with any leaking or repairs during the course of the winter months. It's best to do a quick inspection in the fall to ensure no complications during the winter.

2. Give your chimney a checkup.

Look for blockage, build-up residue, bird nests and other issues that can cause problems. It's a good idea to clean, or have your chimney professionally cleaned once per year. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which can damage structures, destroy homes and injure or kill people. 

3. Get your mind on your gutters.
Once most of the leaves have fallen, it's time to clean all debris and buildup from your gutters. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding. Verify that all drainage is unblocked and free-flowing. Position all gutter downspouts away from your homes foundation to prevent unwanted moisture build up.

4. Don't be rough around the edges.

Check windows and doors for leaks. Repair or replace decaying caulking and withered weather stripping. If you see a gap in a window that is larger than the width of a nickel, reapply exterior caulking. While working on sealing up leaks, it's a good idea to seal any gaps where unwanted critters, such as mice and other rodents, may gain entry.

5. Pamper your pipes.
If any of your water pipes are located in areas exposed to cold temperatures, it's a good idea to wrap them in insulation. Disconnect and drain all garden hoses- these are best stored indoors for a long lasting life. If you don't have frost proof faucets on the exterior of your home, you should turn off the shut-off valve located within the home. Have your lawn irrigation system and pool drained and winterized.

6. Finish seasonal yard maintenance.
Fall is a great time to aerate and fertilize your lawn for fresh, lush green grass in the spring. Remove spent annuals and mulch perennials. Plant any spring flower bulbs you want to bloom in the New Year. Cover any shrubs that may not survive the winter season (depending on the type). It's important to ensure you trim any tree limbs or large shrubs to prevent storm damage and maintain visibility to prevent burglaries.

6. Protect yourself & your family.
Check all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and battery operated emergency flashlights to ensure they are functioning properly. Replace batteries or devices as necessary. Inspect fire extinguishers and first aid kits for any missing items. 

7. Attics & Crawlspaces.
Ensure these areas have proper insulation and no drafts can be felt. It's a good idea to add insulation if you can feel a draft in these places. BC Hydro offers rebates of up to $5500 to upgrade your insulation in these areas- check out their website for more details: https://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/savings-and-rebates/current-rebates-buy-backs/home-renovation-rebates/renovating-insulation.html. It's a good idea to check on these areas after the first major storm and snowfall to ensure there is no flooding- whether major or minor. 

8. Stock up on Winter supplies.
Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrappers you have on hand from last year. Replace as necessary. Pick up a bag of pet and plant safe ice melt to have on hand in case it snows or freezes over. It's a good idea to have an emergency kit in your home that contains food, lighting and supplies in case of an outage. If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel. 

8. Store your Spring & Summer items.
It's a good idea to store or cover up your patio furniture to prevent moisture buildup and keep it in the best possible condition for next year. Once you mow the lawn for the last time of the year, make sure you clean off all the wet grass otherwise this can turn to mould. Clean and cover your barbecue or store it undercover.

9. Remove window A/C units.
If you use window air conditioning units in the summer, remove them before the weather turns cold If you must leave window A/C units in place, cover the entire exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep the cold air from entering your home. 

10. Maintain your Furnace.
Changing your furnace filter is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your furnace in good shape. If you haven't changed it in a while, make sure you have a fresh one before you turn your furnace on for the first time. It's not always necessary to have a professional come every year to inspect your furnace. It's a great idea to conduct a visual inspection yourself, looking for any signs of black soot, a condensation tube filled with algae, tubes not properly attached, rust, and mainly yellow flames. If any of these signs are found, you should contact a professional to properly maintain the system.

Sincerely,

Layzell-Dreger & Associates

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