As the vibrant colors of summer fade into the warm and rustic hues of autumn, homeowners in Brant & Norfolk County know that it’s time to prepare their homes for the upcoming season. That’s why it’s important to know these Fall Home Maintenance Tips.
With colder temperatures, falling leaves, and the occasional snowfall, autumn brings its unique set of challenges and opportunities for home maintenance. To help you keep your home safe, cozy, and energy-efficient during this transitional time, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of home maintenance tips tailored specifically for autumn in Ontario.
Inspect & clean out your eavestroughs
One of the most crucial tasks for autumn home maintenance in Ontario is cleaning and inspecting your gutters.
As the leaves begin to fall, they can quickly clog up your eavestroughs, causing water to overflow and potentially damage your roof and foundation. Regularly clean your gutters and downspouts to ensure they’re free of debris, allowing rainwater and melting snow to flow freely away from your home.
Check for any roof damage
While you’re checking your eaves, ispect your roof for any signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles.
The freeze-thaw cycles that occur during Ontario’s autumn and winter months can worsen existing problems, leading to leaks and structural damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent costly repairs down the road.
Drain your outside garden hoses
One of the most common problems that can occur over the cold winter is split hoses & burst water pipes.
When you don’t fully drain your garden hoses and exterior water taps, the existing water can freeze and cause hoses and pipes to split. Look for an interior shut-off valve to the faucets and empty out any remaining water from the lines.
Put away your summer equipment
As you bid farewell to the warm days of summer, don’t forget to clean and store your outdoor equipment properly. Clean your lawnmower, shut down your central air conditioning unit, and cover or store your patio furniture so it’s not a mucky wet mess in the spring.
Service Your HVAC System
Before the cold weather sets in, schedule a professional inspection and service for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This will ensure that your system is operating efficiently, keeping your home warm while saving you money on energy bills.
It’s also a good time to have your fireplace inspected. Creosote buildup can pose a fire hazard, so make sure it’s clear before you start using your fireplace to stay cozy during the colder months. Whether it’s a natural gas or wood burning model, ensuring the chimney is free & clear of bird nests, cobwebs and debris will ensure you’re enjoying toasty fires all winter long!
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Safety should always be a top priority, and autumn is an excellent time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if needed and make sure they are in working order to protect your family from potential hazards.
Seal gaps and cracks
To keep warm air in and cold air out, inspect your home’s doors and windows for any gaps or cracks. Apply weatherstripping and caulk as needed to seal these openings. Proper insulation will not only make your home more comfortable but also reduce your heating costs.
Inspect your home’s insulation
Inadequate insulation can lead to significant heat loss during the colder months. Blown-in insulation in your attic can compact & settle over time, losing its R-value of insulation. If you find any deficiencies, consider adding more insulation to keep your home warm and energy-efficient. Not only will you be warmer, but you may find your utility bills are improved!
Prune trees and shrubs
Trimming trees and shrubs in the fall can help prevent winter damage caused by heavy snow and ice. It also promotes healthy growth in the spring. It’s also a great time to prune back any perennial plants you have.
Be sure to hire a professional if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, as improper pruning can harm your plants.
Clean and maintain your lawn
Autumn is not just about preparing your home’s interior. It’s also an excellent time to tend to your lawn. Rake up fallen leaves, aerate the soil, and overseed to promote a lush, healthy lawn in the spring.
You may even wish to pick up some fall lawn fertilizer. This will slowly feed your grass over the winter months so that when spring arrives, it becomes lush & green quicker!
Inspect your driveway & walkways
Be sure to check these areas for any damage that may be worsened by freeze/thaw cycles. Seal any cracks to prevent water from getting in and freezing, which can cause more significant problems. Keep these areas clear of leaves and debris to prevent slips and falls.
Service your winter equipment & stock up
Before the snow starts falling, service your snowblower, shovels, and other winter equipment. Make sure everything is in working order, so you’re prepared for the first snowfall.
Finally, stock up on winter essentials like rock salt, ice melt, scrapers and shovels. Having these items on hand will make it easier to keep your walkways and driveway clear of snow and ice throughout the season.
Autumn in Ontario is a beautiful time of year, but it also requires homeowners to take proactive steps to prepare their homes for the changing weather. Take a weekend and protect your family’s largest investment!
By following these home maintenance tips, you can ensure that your home remains safe, cozy, and energy-efficient throughout the autumn and into the winter months. With proper care and attention, you’ll be able to enjoy the season’s splendor from the comfort of your well-maintained home.