Fall has arrived. The trees are changing colour, the leaves have started to fall, and the days are cooling down. With summer days behind us and the kids back in school, it’s time to consider fall maintenance for your Burlington home. Take advantage of accommodating weather and start with outdoor items on your home maintenance list.
It’s easy to forget gutters, but giving them regular attention is very important to protect the roof, prevent water damage, and help avoid pest problems. Removing debris and leaves will ensure proper drainage away from the house, preventing potential cracks in the foundation.
It is recommended that you test your alarms once a month. Most fire departments recommend changing the smoke detector batteries whenever daylight saving comes around. It’s also crucial to know the expiry date of your smoke alarms so you can replace them when needed. Some detectors expire within five years, while others can last as long as ten. If you’re not sure, have a peek at the manufacturing details. Manufacturers recommend vacuuming the inside of the alarm every two years. Don’t forget the carbon monoxide detector as well. Replace carbon monoxide models (if separate from the smoke detector) every seven to ten years.
Did you know homeowners should change their furnace filters every three months? It’s an easy task that lingers in our minds and should certainly be done before the furnace kicks on for the first time in fall. If the filter is well overdue for its change, it will be easy to notice, especially if pets live in the home. Homes with multiple cats and dogs should change the filter as often as every three to six weeks.
Put Away Garden Hoses
After harvesting the vegetable garden, it’s time to put away the garden hose. If the hose remains connected to the outdoor faucet, the water left in the hose can freeze and result in a burst hose or, worse, cracked pipes. While putting the hose away, don’t forget to shut off the water valve usually located inside your home.
Check the Foundation and the Outside Walls
Before the snow falls, it is essential to take a walk around your Burlington home to check the foundation for any cracks. Take the time to caulk around the areas where pipes come into the house. Sealing those areas will mean water can’t get in and cause more significant problems.
How is the paint holding up outside? If the colour is peeling from the house, it no longer protects the siding. If it’s not dealt with, then the siding can deteriorate. Paying to paint when it’s starting to peel will mean avoiding expensive siding repairs down the road.
As the air outdoors continues to cool down, it will be more evident if there are issues with the windows. Check caulking around windows and weather stripping around doors. Replace if drafts are coming in to avoid high energy costs. When running the furnace, you want to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible to help keep energy bills to a minimum.
Get the Fireplace Cleaned
If the home has a fireplace, have it professionally cleaned and inspected before using it for the first time this season. Clogged chimneys run a high risk of a fire if not maintained properly. A yearly cleaning is crucial in avoiding clogs and ensuring everything has a tight seal.
If the home has an air conditioner, cover the unit until the following spring to avoid rust and pests. Before covering, vacuum the internal parts to remove dust and other particles built up over the year.
Finally, the best time to confirm the snowblower works is before the first significant snowfall. If it’s a gas snowblower, check to see if it needs to be flushed and that all components are working so it is ready when needed.
Remember: Regular maintenance and care for your Burlington home is a lot easier on your wallet than emergency repairs. These repairs usually come with a substantial bill because the homeowner did not proactively address potential issues!
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