Fall Maintenance Tips

Fall Maintenance Tips

 

Preparation is the best remedy for winter problems

VANESSA ROMAN | PROPERTY PROSPECTIVES

I’m no Farmers’ Almanac, but I’m pretty sure ‘fall’ is named for what happens to our mood when we realize it’s coming. It is, of course, a beautiful season, but it heralds all sorts of jobs to do around the house before winter — the word that really ruins the summer mood — sets in.

But we all know preparation is the best remedy for winter problems, so here are my top five this year:

Drainage issues

When next spring comes, where will the melting snow go? Is your basement properly protected and are there any improvements you can make to drainage? Have tree roots caused damage to the foundation? You can gauge many issues from the previous spring, but mostly you just need to look around. In the basement you can check for moisture by taping a garbage bag on the floor for a day. If the outline of the bag is left when you remove it, there’s moisture coming in.

Drafts

You might have enjoyed the breeze in the summer, but you don’t want it in winter, so check the seals on doors and windows. Your electricity and heating bills will thank you for this one. It doesn’t mean you have to replace everything, but there are numerous and affordable options at any hardware store that will make a difference as the temperature drops.

Cleaning

From air filters to gutters and garden equipment and tools, you need to plan for the winter and next summer when everything is in use again. Obstructions need to be cleared from gutters obviously before they fill with snow and ice, and outdoor equipment could be expensive to repair if it’s not serviced before idling for months.

Safety

Check that old paint hasn’t been left near a furnace or outside extension cords have become frayed or nicked. Check fireplaces or chimneys and heaters for any obstructions or dirt that could cause problems. It’s easy to let little things slide when your mind is on sun, sand and surf, but these things can be a risk in winter when everything’s in use.

Change your furnace filters and clean your kitchen range as well while you’re at it.

Spring clean, in the fall

As well as garden and yard tidying, get your painting done now while you can still open windows for ventilation. If you’re considering a move in the winter, work on some of those improvements now before the days get darker and nights get colder. And even if you’re not moving, you’ll feel your home is more homey when you’re stuck indoors.

Most people know there is a check list of ‘To Do’ items in the fall, and we all like to avoid it where we can. Mostly this is about saving yourself money when every penny counts — your cleaning and checks will make it more efficient to heat the home and be ready for spring thaws. And it’s also the easier time of year to do these things. Nobody wants to be on a ladder outside in December.

Just make that crucial list and spend a day or weekend at it and you’ll be safe to sit back and enjoy the fall colours.

SOURCE: http://thechronicleherald.ca/homesnews/1151041-fall-maintenance-tips

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