Autumn is in full swing right now in the Ottawa Valley. The leaves have changed color and the temperature has dropped. Just as there are things you must do for yourself in the fall in preparation for the colder months (Must hunt down the spot in which all the winter clothes have been hiding! Time to purchase a thicker coat!) , there also exists things that must be done to maintain your home during this transitional season. We’ ll break down our tips into 4 different categories: Exterior Fixes, System Maintenance , Garden Maintenance and Safety Checks. If you wish to keep your home in tip-top shape while keeping yourself warm and cozy this coming winter, read on!

 

Exterior Fixes

 

  1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Gutters are often underappreciated. They work tirelessly to drain gallons and gallons of water from your roof without you even thinking about them. Because they don’t need constant attention, people tend to forget that they need any attention at all. This fall, give your gutters some TLC. Make sure you thoroughly clean them out to make sure they can drain properly during the winter; clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams during the colder months which will be pricey to repair. You should also ensure your gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water by tightening gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Installing gutter guards may be a good option for you as they make gutter maintenance a lot easier and offer a permanent solution to clogged gutters. If your gutters arc particularly bad, perhaps it’s time to replace them all together.

 

  1. Seal Air Leaks: A large amount of heating energy is lost due to drafts. Save yourself some money this fall by sealing all cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, as well as where wires enter your Use caulk to fill in these spaces.

 

  1. Inspect Your Roof: If you don’ t feel comfortable inspecting your roof on your own (if  you have a particularly steep roof, you can do this from the ground with the use of binoculars!), then you should consider hiring a licensed professional to  do  so  for  yo You should be looking out for any shingles that are curling, buckling,  crackling,  or missing altogether; if you spot any doing so, replace them immediately. If you identify large quantities of moss and lichen, it may be a sign that your roof is decayed underneath and you may need to replace it as a whole.

 

  1. Drain Outdoor Faucets: No one likes a busted pipe. Prevent water from freezing inside your pipes and subsequently causing them to crack by turning off all outdoor water faucets.  Allow all the water to drain fully before disconnecting and storing garden hoses in a shed or garage.

 

System Maintenance

 

  1. Change Filters: You should be changing out your filters every two months anyway, but if you’ve neglected to do so in a while, the colder months are a great excuse to stay on top of it. If filters are clogged, it becomes harder to maintain a comfortable temperature during the winter and will end up costing you more money in heating

 

  1. Ensure Your Attic is Insulated Properly: If the insulation is installed  incorrectly it  can cause water problems in the lining due to trapped moisture. You may be able to cut the vapor barrier to give moisture a way to escape. Make sure the vapor barrier  is facing down toward the Living space – this shows you that the insulation is installed properly.

 

Garden  Maintenance

 

  1. 1. Prune Plants: Fall is the ideal time lo prune plants and trees as the summer growth cycle has just come 10 a close. Take  this opportunity to  care for your garden!  Try  to  keep limbs and branches 3 feel away from your house to prevent damage during winter storms.

1 Fertilize Your Lawn: Prepping your lawn for fall and winter will be essential in ensuring your grass is looking great and green in the spring and summer months. Applying fertilizer will serve to prevent winter damage.

 

Safety Checks

 

  1. Change Batteries: Since you are already doing so much prep work. You might as  well  check all fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This should be done annually to ensure these important devices are working as they should. After testing all devices.  You should also replace their respective batteries.

2  Inspect  Your  Fireplace:    If you have a wood burning fireplace. you should have it inspected. Cleaned and possibly repaired ready for fall so as to prevent house fires.

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