7 fall maintenance jobs for your home

Une maison entourée d'arbres à l'automne

Fall is here and it's time to get your home ready for Old Man Winter. You can leave the work to a professional, but why not do it yourself? Here are 7 easy fall maintenance jobs that you can do yourself and it’ll leave you plenty of time to enjoy the splendor of fall.

Clean your gutters

Once fall is in full swing, you’ll need to remove dead leaves from your home’s gutters and window wells. Leaves that gather in the gutters and window wells will obstruct the flow of water and can cause major damage to your roof or foundation in the winter. Clear them out properly. You should also install gutter guards that will let rainwater flow through, but not dead leaves.

Inspect the foundation and roof

Few things are more tedious than having to deal with water seepage in your home, especially when it’s hard to pinpoint the source of the problem so an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. One of the first things you need to do is to perform a thorough inspection of your roof.

Use a ladder and binoculars to check the condition of the shingles up close so you can see whether they’re in good condition. Storms and high winds can damage them. A buildup of granules in your gutters can be a sign of an ageing roof. Also take a look at the vents and chimney if you have one.

Don’t forget to look for cracks in your home’s foundation. While you’re at it, check the seals around your windows and doors.

Clean the dryer vent

A clogged dryer vent reduces your machine’s drying capacity and eventually causes more serious damage. Over time, clothing fibres and dust will accumulate in the dryer vent and may become a fire hazard. So you should clean the dryer vent regularly from the inside and outside with a vacuum cleaner or brush.

Store your garden hose

You should put away all your outdoor watering accessories before the onset of winter. Empty and store your garden hose and drain the pipes if you have a sprinkler system. If you have a pressure washer, empty the tank and store it in a heated area. Your machine can sustain damage if the water freezes.

Ideally, store them inside if you’d like to keep these accessories in good working condition longer.

Winterize your pool

Getting your in-ground or above-ground pool ready for winter is part of routine seasonal maintenance. Freezing water can damage the pipes or filtration system and cause further damage to your home or property.

The first thing you should do is remove and store all of your pool’s accessories. Some experts recommend that you deep clean your pool. You should then lower the water level to about 30 cm below the jets and skimmer.  Use the appropriate cleaning products to strike the right water chemical balance and alkalinity before you winterize your pool. Cover the pool with a soft or hard canvas to prevent leaves and other debris from accumulating.

Are your trees healthy?

If you have trees around your home, take a look at the bark and leaves. Spots of colour, cavities or cracks may be signs of disease. Broken or leafless branches, or leaves with abnormal colours or holes in them can also be a sign that your trees are not as healthy as you would like them.

When should you install the car shelter?

Most towns have bylaws that govern the installation and removal of temporary car shelters. This period typically runs from mid-October or early November to mid-March. Some towns also have bylaws about where a car shelter can be set up and how far it has to be from the road; however, you don’t need to set up the structure and canvas as soon as it’s authorized.

According to some experts, ideally, you should install it just after the first snowfall. The snow can be used at the base of the shelter to hold the canvas in place and as an added weight to the anchors and sandbags that support the shelter. That should provide additional protection against wind gusts for the remainder of winter.

Once your home and car shelter are prepped, you’ll be ready for the next snowfall.