Each year many people look forward to the fall season. Crisp air, fall markets, kids going back to school and a bounty of outdoor opportunities to enjoy across our region. Take the time to enjoy everything that your community has to offer while the weather is still nice outside. But don't forget to take care of your home too. With the weather changing now is the time to start to look at the things you need to get done "before the snow falls", to ensure your home is protected.
1. Clean your gutters. Over the spring and summer months, leaves, Maple tree keys, and other debris accumulate in the gutters. Cleaning out your gutters, once the leaves have fallen will help ensure that when the snow does come and the inevitable mid winter thaw comes, your gutters will be in a better position to move the water away from the house the way it is supposed to. The same principle applies to the drains from any basement walk outs and window wells. Make sure that they are free and clear of any debris to ensure that snow melt goes where it belongs, down the drain.
2. Take the time to inspect your shingles. Over the last few years, winter wind storms have become a much more frequent event. Checking on the roof to ensure there are no shingles that have peeled or missing is imperative to protect you in the winter months. This quick inspection will identify any issues and allow you to have them corrected before it's too late.
3. If you have a wood burning stove or fireplace now is the time to get it and your chimney booked for a cleaning. In Canada, almost 15% of home fires are started from heating sources which include chimneys. Now is also a good time to change the batteries on your smoke / CO2 detectors and ensure they are working correctly.
4. Fertilize your lawn. Grass needs nutrients over the winter to come back strong and lush in the spring. Feeding in the fall helps build the strength of the grass. Ask your local lawn supply company for the best fertilizer for your market.
5. Inspect the caulking around your windows and doors. Winter storms and snow piling up again the house can lead to water penetration in the home. Water is one of the major causes of damage to your home. A quick inspection and caulking replacement where necessary can help major damage on the inside of your home.
Taking these few steps will not only protect your home through the winter but they will also make your life easier when it comes time to get back outside and enjoy the nice weather in the spring. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.