As the colours start to change and the beautiful leaves start falling, I am reminded of how much I enjoy the autumn. It’s my favourite season, especially in Ontario with our expanse of rolling hills in the north giving us the most magnificent views for fall colours. We’ve been very fortunate this fall to have this amazing weather in the GTA and surrounding areas! Let’s take advantage of this by doing a few things that will help us over the winter. Here are some home maintenance tips for your property:
1. Check smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and first aid kits
Are all the batteries working, and fire alarms in good order? Do you have spare batteries on hand? Always good to have extra batteries on hand for emergencies and for when the smoke detector ones need to be replaced. Do you have flashlights and are they in good working order? Check the battery size to make sure you have extra ones that are the correct type.
2. Clean your chimney and fireplace
Are you fortunate to have a fireplace? Make sure it’s clean so you can enjoy its warmth all winter! It’s rare to find working wood-burning fireplaces these days, as they’ve been replaced by modern gas fireplaces. The updated ones are much easier to maintain and safer. Keep your family safe by keeping your fireplace clean!
3. Check your windows
Are there any drafts coming in? Are they new windows and still under warranty? Are they old and might need to be replaced? Replacing old windows or repairing drafty ones is critical in keeping your home warm over the winter. Not only will replacing your windows keep the drafts out but it will help reduce your heating bills for years to come. Make sure to look for windows that offer you the best in energy efficiency.
4. Inspect your roof
Are the shingles heaving? Or separating? If your roof is showing signs of wear, you may need to get it fixed or if it’s old enough, you may want to consider redoing it before the snow flies. When the snow starts melting, the runoff will find any cracks in your roof and could cause more damage. Preventive maintenance will cost you much less in the long run.
5. Clean out your eaves on roofs
These need to be cleared out so that the freeze/thaw process doesn’t destroy them or cause damage to your roof. Think about the roads in spring and the damage that does to your car. The eaves are similar to the road and the roof is similar to your car. Making sure you clean out your eaves will ensure a longer life for your eaves and more importantly, your roof.
6. Inspect your heating system
Checking your furnace now as we begin to turn on the heat could save you money later, especially if it’s going to be a long, cold winter. Preventive maintenance is the key to saving you money in the long run. Have a professional in during their regular hours saves you money. If you need to have them come into your home due to an emergency, the costs will add up much quicker and it will be much more expensive.
7. Do remaining seasonal yard maintenance
Ensure your pathways and sidewalks have no obstructions for when it snows. We want to make sure guests coming to our homes have a clear path. Make sure your snowblower is working or that you have enough shovels on hand. When the snow flies, you’ll appreciate knowing you are ready instead of running out to find out the store is sold out! Have a bag of outdoor salt on hand for those possible ice storms! We never know when we will need to salt our pathways and this can save our families from injury. I know it helped me last year!
Being ready for winter and whatever weather will come our way, will take away stress knowing that you’ve planned ahead. I hope you found these tips helpful but I know your experience will help others too. Let me know what you do in the Fall to prepare you, your family and your home for the seasons ahead. Please comment below.