Fall is officially here! That means the gorgeous colours of the leaves changing, everything Pumpkin Spice, and cozy clothes for cooler weather. It also means it’s time for a little TLC for your home to get ready for everything that fall, and winter, brings: falling leaves, colder air, snow. What, you may ask, is really needed to prepare your home? Take a look at what we recommend are the 5 steps to preparing your home for fall.
1. Eavestrough and Downspout Cleaning
Whether you have trees on your property or not, eavestroughs always seem to get leaves or debris in them. Here’s why it’s important to have your eavestroughs and downspouts cleaned at least once this season:
- Prevents debris build up resulting in poor water drainage.
- Clogged eavestroughs can result in water overflow which can increase property erosion and leaks.
- Debris build up freezing in colder temperatures causing potential damage and poor drainage, as well as precipitation build-up backing up under the shingles.
2. Roof Inspection and Maintenance
As your homes first line of defence to the elements, your roof needs to be in good condition to protect your home effectively. Some things can be DIY, this one however is not. Hire a pro to take care of your roof for you! We perform a complete inspection including:
- Inspecting the overall condition of your roof and its anticipated life span.
- Check for any damaged, loose, or missing shingles.
- Exposed or lifted nail heads which can allow water penetration.
- Lifting or damaged chimney or wall metal.
- Animal damage.
Based on the inspection results, it might be recommended to do only minor repairs such as replacing some shingle tabs or applying caulking to exposed nail heads. If your roof is in poorer condition however, more in-depth repairs may be required, or in extreme cases full replacement may be recommended.
3. Attic Inspection
Your attic is most likely a space that you don’t frequently enter, which is why it’s inspection before the cooler months get here is very important to address any known or unknown issues.
- Ensure insulation levels are adequate (an R-Value of 50 is recommended for best energy efficiency) and top up if necessary to prevent heat and energy loss.
- Remove any damaged insulation due to water penetration, animal urine or feces, etc.
- Inspect for water damage, active or past, and repair to prevent further leakage or mould growth.
- If there has been a history of leaks, major or minor, it is important to inspect for the presence of mould. A spray can be applied to eliminate small amounts of existing mould, but in instances where mould is too prevalent, the complete replacement of the plywood would be recommended.
- Ensure attic is properly ventilated, and add additional venting if needed.
4. Window & Door Inspections and Maintenance
Ever stood by a closed window or door and felt a bit drafty? Well, not only is it not working the way it should to keep the elements out, but your heat, and your money, is literally going right out the window. Here’s how you can help keep your spaces warmer, and save on energy costs at the same time:
- Inspect the exterior frames of your windows and doors for gaps, cracked or missing caulking, and apply new caulking where needed.
- Older or poorly installed windows may not have insulation surrounding them on the interior. Have insulation installed around your windows, as well as new trim.
- If a window is too old, out of square, or just broken, no amount of caulking will stop those drafts. Replacing the unit would be your best option, and return on investment, for comfort and cost savings. To keep things in budget, it can be best to replace the items that are in the worst condition, or ones in important rooms such as bedrooms.
5. Siding Repairs
Whether you have aluminum, vinyl, or brick siding, it acts as the protective outer layer or skin of your home. Giving it a once over to make sure it’s keeping elements (and critters!) out can go a long way to saving headaches over the colder months.
- Caulk or fill any small gaps or holes.
- Secure loose or lifting pieces.
- Repair areas from animal damage (get a wildlife pro in to get rid of the animal first, or be prepared to have ongoing repairs!)
- Replace any damaged sections that cannot be re-secured or caulked as a repair.
We hope this guideline helps you get your home in the best shape possible for fall, and don’t forget: when in doubt, hire a pro! Safety first!