For the home
Is your home ready for the fall?
Fall doesn’t just involve colourful leaves, rainy days and Halloween candy; it’s also the time to close the pool, caulk windows, clean gutters and the list goes on. In fact, preparing for fall involves a great many jobs. Here are a few of them.
• Put away deck furniture and the barbecue, unless it’s set up to be used year round. Drain and store garden hoses and turn off any outside taps.
• Close the pool. Drain partially, so the water level is about 30.5 cm (one foot) below the skimmer basket. Disconnect and drain all the pipes and bleed the pump before storing it for the winter.
• Clean gutters and make sure they drain properly.
• Inspect the roof. Make sure skylights, roof shingles and seals on chimneys or vents are in good condition. Do any necessary repairs.
• Have your chimney cleaned and your fireplace inspected to prevent fires. Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working well, and then change the batteries (they should be replaced every year).
• Examine the foundations and the exterior siding, and fix any cracks to prevent water or air infiltration.
• Check the slope of the ground and make any modifications to ensure that rainwater drains away from your home. Check the sump pump to avoid any unpleasant surprises during heavy rainfall or the spring melt.
• Check your deck or balcony. Make sure railings and steps are safe, and replace rotten or damaged planks. Check if the deck is adequately lit and take advantage of the mild weather to replace bulbs in outdoor fixtures.
• Inspect doors and windows. To keep cold and damp from entering the house, replace damaged seals and weather stripping. Take this opportunity to remove window air conditioners, if you have any. Remove bug screens to prevent condensation and maximize the amount of winter sunlight entering your home.
• Check all air outlets (central vacuum, dryer, range hood, etc.) and make sure the vent covers close properly.
• Clean the filters of your air exchanger and heating system. Vacuum inside any furnace registers. It would also be wise to verify that the heating system is working properly. In fact, fall is the perfect time to have it checked out by a professional.
• Test your water if you have a well. This should be done every six months.
• Clean the garage floor catch basin. If it connects with the house plumbing, make sure the automatic valve closes properly.
Lastly, spring isn’t the only time of year to do a thorough cleanup; preparing your home for the winter also requires some cleaning chores. For example, it’s important to vacuum baseboard heaters and make sure furniture and curtains are well clear of them. Carpets, curtains and fabriccovered chairs should also be cleaned. This will greatly improve the air quality in your home during those long winter months when windows are never opened.
In the fall, make sure your deck or balcony is safe.