Not necessarily the most welcome season in Ontario, but the chill in the air and the leaves falling tell us that winter is just around the corner. It’s important to check the exterior and interior of your home to ensure that everything can withstand the more severe weather that is coming. Whether you have a new or older home, taking care of fall home maintenance can prevent costly issues from surprising you during the winter months. Spend some time now, while it’s warmer, to review each of these items and do your best to prevent damage from happening. Here’s how to protect your home before winter arrives:
Inspect the outside of your home
- Check the roof and shingles. Wind and rain throughout the spring, summer, and fall can cause damage to your roof. Take time to inspect it for damaged shingles, debris, and other abnormalities.
- Check the air vents. These spaces are places where sneaky critters and debris can get in. Critters can do a lot of damage to your home, so block any possible entranceways and keep animals safely outside.
- Unblock eavestroughs. Water always finds the path of least resistance. Cleaning your gutters out will keep water draining and flowing properly away from your home. While you’re at it, ensure downspouts and soffits are also clear.
- Drain garden hoses. Frozen water in pipes and hoses can burst, causing problems both inside and out.
- Check your deck for damage. Replace damaged boards and ensure stairs and railings are intact and secure.
- Put away your patio furniture. On a windy day, they could blow around and cause destruction to your yard, home, or even a neighbour’s home.
- Check pipes for leaks or other damage. Seal them up or have them replaced.
- Tidy up your lawn and gardens. Trim tree branches (especially those close to the house that might cause blockage or damage from blowing around), clean up waste, and other debris.
- Winterize your pool. Make sure your pool is closed safely and the cover is securely tied down or weighted down.
Inspect the inside of your home
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are all operating effectively, and change the batteries too. It is best practice to do this in the spring and fall when we adjust our clocks for the time change.
- Make sure your sump pump is working well. Don’t get caught with a flood in your basement. If you have a sump pump alarm, check that it is working. Replace batteries if necessary. If you don’t have a sump pump alarm, get one.
- Take a peek at your windows. Are the window frames and caulking intact? Cold air, as well as melting snow and ice, can seep in through cracks, so make sure you seal them up.
- Maintain your fireplace and chimney. Have a professional cleaning/inspection to ensure it is clean, working well, and clear of any critters/debris. If you don’t regularly maintain your fireplace and chimney, it can be a serious fire hazard.
- Give your furnace a tune-up. Don’t get caught without a good working furnace this winter! Schedule maintenance on your furnace to ensure it is working well before winter arrives.
If you’re a business owner or farmer, you also can use the list above as a baseline to help guide your seasonal maintenance clean-up and task list. Click here if you’d like to know more about your home insurance coverage for severe weather.
Dumfries Mutual Insurance is your partner and offers more than just insurance. We love working with you to help connect you to the resources and people that will become part of your safety net. We’ve recently welcomed a new Loss Inspector to our team who is a Certified Canadian Home Inspector and has WETT certification. With his vast experience in home, commercial, and farm inspections, he will be taking on appointments to complete free risk inspections for our insured clients! Contact us today to help mitigate risk to your home, farm, or business.