September is here. The weather in Vancouver has been exceptional. I would like nothing better than for it to last, but the one thing you can count on besides death & taxes, is that it’s going to rain & rain a lot. With cold temperatures, wind & some snow following, you can get the idea I’m labouring to make. Fall is here, winter is coming.
The following are maintenance items & repairs that should be completed before the bad weather arrives.
- Be sure the gutters are clean. Gutters full of debris such as leaves & needles, can lead to rot damage to wood on & in your home, infestations, foundation damage and water getting into your crawlspace or basement
- Watch for gutter leaks at the seams, often at the corners
- ensure each section of downspout is securely fastened to the other, as well as, to the gutter & the side of the house.
- ensure any water is draining away from the house and doesn’t pool around or close to the foundation. Damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways can be the result. Any time water is allowed to pool close to your foundation, there is a risk of leakage into your home.
- Trim all bushes & tree branches away from your electrical service wires (the wires from the power pole to your home), & building surfaces including your roof
- Fertilize the lawn to promote root growth
Inspect all weather stripping & caulking around doors & windows. Replace where necessary to prevent cold drafts & increased heating costs.
Drain all outdoor water taps/spigot/hose bib to prevent water freezing & rupturing the pipe leading to the tap. If you don’t have frost free faucets, you should consider insulating the tap using ready made insulating covers (often made of styrofoam & sold at home supply stores.)
Servicing your furnace or boiler before winter ensures that your furnace will perform at its best and less likely to fail leaving you without heat. You should,
- replace the furnace filter – should be done quarterly, & will extend the life of your heating unit
- have a HVAC technician clean & service your furnace – increases the life & efficiency of your furnace or boiler.
- have your air ducts cleaned – will reduce the amount of dust in your home & can minimize your families reactions to pet dander & other allergens found in dust
- have your hot water tank serviced
Have your wood burning fireplace & chimney cleaned & inspected. Cracks in the bricks or grout & any build up creosote in the chimney is a fire hazard. Ensure that the damper is functioning & able to be secured open. I recommend using a WETT (Wood Energy Technician) certified technician as they specialize in wood burning appliances. They can be found in BC at http://www.wetbc.ca
Fall House Cleaning
During the winter months your windows & doors are closed most of the time, restricting the amount of fresh air circulating into your home. If you clean your rugs, drapes, vacuum the heat registers & air returns (only if you didn’t have your air ducts cleaned professionally as suggested above), you can help reduce the amount of dust & other pollutants circulating in your home.
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