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Preparing Your Home for Fall and Winter – Home Maintenance Tasks

We had a pretty brutal winter last year (at least by Vancouver standards) – so let’s be better prepared for this year

The weather man says the La Nina could spell another wild winter in Vancouver and Lower Mainland area

These are some home maintenance tasks that can help you prepare your home for the fall and winter season.

Roof Inspections Are More Important than People Think

As long as water isn’t dripping from your ceiling, it’s easy to simply assume everything is fine.

The truth is, preventative roof maintenance is the best way to catch problems early, before they turn into a big expensive mess. A licensed roofing contractor can often spot potential leaks and other signs of damage before they happen, saving you a lot of stress (and $$$) down the road.

Early fall before the rain kicks in is the perfect time to have your roof inspected. Taking care of problems like loose shingles and leaky areas before winter can prevent more expensive repairs down the road.

If you want to save some money, scan it closely with binoculars. Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles. Please do not climb the roof just to save some money. It’s not worth it.

Trimming branches/shrubs that are close to the home

Make sure your house is clear of any overhanging branches. Inspect trees for signs of rot and decay.

The branches of a tress can rub against the building’s wall or roof. On a windy day, leaves are going to fall into your gutters and clog them. Sometimes, its best to entirely remove the branches as they can snap off in high winds and damage your roof shingles.

And branches too close to the home will invite roof rats and other pests into your home. You will be inviting visitors to share your cosy comfort home during the colder months. As an accredited home inspector, I tend to find rodent droppings in the attic.

Cleaning your Gutters and Downspouts

When gutters are clogged, water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and wood trim. Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.

Loose and disconnected downspouts should be secured.

Loose sidings/damaged stucco

As a home inspector, I always observe sidings which are loose or damaged. You are inviting moisture into your home. And not forgetting rodents and pests that can find the way into the home. They need a warm place to come into, and you want to keep them out.

If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are large enough – you need to reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use.

Get an infrared scan from a Certified Level 1 Thermographer, so you know where to plug those leaks and reduce your heating costs

Turn off exterior faucets

Water in pipes needs to be drained to prevent it from freezing, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets.

If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.

I inspected a home where the exterior hose was frozen and cause a rupture into the basement wall. It was an expensive fix for the homeowner.

Stow Your Lawn Mower

Done with mowing your lawn?  Time to keep your mower away. As the mower sits through the winter, fuel remaining in its engine will decompose, “varnishing” the carburetor and causing difficulty when you try to start the engine in the spring.

Fireplace Maintenance

Like all of your appliances, regular service is important to ensure long life and good performance. Gas Fireplaces should be inspected and cleaned once a year. Keep your fireplace + chimney clean and free of creosote.  By having your appliances regularly inspected will help keep your system burning efficiently and in an eco-friendly manner. This is good article from Fortis BC


Inspecting your HVAC System/Water Tank

As temperatures fall, it is important that your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are working efficiently. Heating your home and producing hot water are generally the largest energy expenses for any homeowner, so you want to  ensure your home heating bills remains as reasonable as possible

Homeowners should have the system inspected in the fall to best prepare it for the demands of winter.

Reverse your Ceiling Fan

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).

This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings — and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.

Preparing your home for winter

Don’t wait for the first winter storm to restock cold-weather essentials, such as salt or ice melt.

Remember folks- salt was in short supply during our last winter?

If you need a Home Inspection, Indoor Air Quality Testing or an Infrared Inspection

call Peter Jesal at 778-552-8095 or visit the website at www.jesalhomeinspections.com

We service the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area- 7 days a week.