sample house ready to prepare home for fall

5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall

By Scotti Ian Ogden
Owner of Ogden Contracting LTD

As a Homeowner, You Need to Protect Your Assets. Here are Five Builder Recommended Ways to Prepare Your House for the Colder Weather.

For homeowners, it is important to keep up with seasonal maintenance to ensure the upkeep and safety of your home. These builder recommended tips are easy and time efficient, a little bit of attention can go a long way, saving you money in the future with repairs.

Prepare Your Home for Fall

1. Cleaning Your Downspouts and Gutters

Although this may seem obvious, I want to emphasize the importance of cleaning your gutters. During the year, debris can clog up in your gutters causing them to overflow, which is damaging to the foundation of your home.

This is also the best time to fix any corners that may be leaking. Gutter glue doesn’t work well when it’s wet, so do this in September before the continuous rainy days start. Don’t wait until the leaves are wet and slippery to clean your gutters, there is a chance you could fall and injure yourself.

2. Roof Inspections

Roof inspections should be done bi-annually, even if your roof is fairly new. The good news is that inspections are usually free by roofing companies. I highly recommend scheduling an inspection before the rainy season. I’ve seen so many people wait to get their roofs fixed in the fall when rainfall is already damaging the house. At this point, roofers are so busy with leak calls, you’d probably have to wait a few weeks for a repair or you’ll pay a premium for the job to be held as priority.

Another reason to get your roof inspected is to remove moss and algae, this preventive maintenance is done by cleaning with moss control or liquid tide. When it rains, the detergent is washed down the roof which prevents moss from growing, improving the lifespan of your roof.

3. Heating System Maintenance

All homes have a heating system. Regardless of the type of system in your home, it’s a great idea to have it inspected by a professional or inspect it yourself using a simple checklist.

Here are some steps for regular maintenance

Electric Baseboard Heaters

Dust Regularly: dust can burn & produce toxins & unpleasant odor
Inspect Wiring: exposed wires are a fire hazard

Gas Fireplace

Check for Gas Leaks: smell sound the fireplace and listen for a hissing sound, ensure no gas is leaking
Inspect the Vent: make sure it’s clear to allow fumes to ventilate properly

Forced Air (Gas)

Replace/Clean Filter: making the system more efficient
Inspect the Burner Flames: ensure they are even & blue, yellow flames indicate a problem

Electric Forced Air

Replace/Clean Filter: check the filter on a monthly basis
Inspect Electrical Components: check for any frayed wiring or connections that may be loose

Wood Burning Furnace

Clean the Flue: prevent chimney fires from creosote build-up
Inspect for Cracks: check both the interior and exterior for any signs of wear or damage.

Wood Burning Fireplace

Inspect for Creosote: a flammable substance that accumulates and can cause chimney fires
Check the Damper: Ensure it opens and closes properly, sealing tightly when not in use

Gas Furnace

Clean/Replace Air filter: clogged filter can cause the system to work harder
Inspect the Thermostat: replace battery

Geothermal Heating System

Inspect the Heat Pump: ensure its free of debris & working correctly
Check the Antifreeze Level: ensuring it remains within the recommended range

Radiant Floor Heating

Check for leaks & moisture
Inspect the Thermostat: ensuring it reads the accurate temperature

4. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:

When fall comes, our heaters get turned on and they have the potential to release harmful smoke into our homes if not serviced properly. I recommended using the daylight savings weekend to test all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your house. The BC Building Code often changes their rules for the location of detectors in your home. If you want to ensure your coding is up to date, you can hire an electrician to check. There should be detectors in every room that is slept in, as well as one on every floor in the hallways. Don’t place one in the kitchen, as this will be set off more frequently and may end up getting unplugged or disconnected. As a homeowner, you need to protect your assets as well as the lives of those who live in your home.

5. Landscaping and Tree Trimming:

During spring and summer, vegetation grows and can affect the state of your home. Vines, shrubs and trees that have overgrown can enter small cracks and create holes for rodents and other unwanted creatures to get into your home. In the fall, we can expect wind storms, so it’s important to remove any heavy tree branches that are at risk of falling and damaging your home. Vegetation should be 6-8 inches below the siding wood framing of the house so that water and rot don’t penetrate and cause prolonged damage. Overall if you keep your home clean of vegetation, tree branches and landscaping debris, the spring will be a lot easier to regenerate, and will start your season off on the right foot.

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