Home Maintenance is time consuming and sometimes uncomfortable. But the time investment is worth it. You’ll protect your home and get more out of what you’ve invested in it. The temperature outside now is just right to get the garden and lawn ready for winter, put away your summer tools and get out your snow shovel and other cold weather tools. More importantly, you’ll avoid potential problems that winter weather can create – freeing up more time for you to do the things you enjoy – like spend time with your family or watch the latest movie or TV series. The following guide provides you with some great tips to prepare your home for winter and ensure its safe and free from damage.

Exterior Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Let’s start with the outside of your home – the area that has to deal with the brunt of the winter weather. Here are some autumn house maintenance tips:

1. Clean out, repair and secure loose eavestroughs and downspouts

Having your eavestroughs clear of debris is your first line of defence for protecting your roof and your foundation from water and ice damage. Do you remember the ice storm of 1998 in Ontario? It caused over $5 billion in home and property damage. While you can’t eradicate damage from such a vicious storm, you can help to minimize it with some proactive and preventative maintenance.

2. Repair exterior caulking before winter

Cracked caulking can cause damage to your windows and sills. They also be a source for water to get into your home. Repairing exterior caulking will make your home less drafty and more comfortable while protecting your windows and helping you save on your energy bills!

3. Fix cracks in your weather stripping

Cracks from summer sun and aging reduce the effectiveness of weather stripping to keep the cold out. Weather stripping should be replaced every few years. A yearly inspection before winter will help you to keep tabs on how well it’s doing its job.

4. Repair any loose roof shingles

Your roof is critical to the integrity of your home. Damaged shingles can cause water leakage into the attic or the space between the roof and your top floor. The section of the roof that receives the most sun requires your closest attention. These shingles become worn more quickly from heat exposure. Also take notice of missing shingles – an indication you have a potential roof vulnerability. If you notice a roofing issue, have it looked at by a professional.

Interior Fall Maintenance

Tasks Once the exterior is taken care of, it’s time to make sure your interior is ready for winter. Do these fall home care tips:

5. Turn your furnace on

Best way to make sure that you’ll be comfortable this winter is to test your furnace before the really cold winter weather hits. If you’re not sure how well your furnace is working, you’ll have time to have it inspected. Don’t forget to change your air filters too.

6. Check and if necessary, replace your carbon monoxide detector

Winter is the season when we are indoors almost all the time and your furnace – and other heat sources – generate carbon monoxide as they heat your home. A carbon monoxide detector monitors levels in your home and will alert you if levels ever rise. So make sure you test your detector regularly and change the batteries.

7. Ensure your smoke alarm is working

Most home fires occur during the winter, an important reason to check your smoke alarm. Don’t forget to change your batteries on a regular basis too!

8. Protect pipes in unheated areas around your home

Frozen pipes can cause some serious damage. Look around your home, especially areas where it is not heated and where pipes may run through such as crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap the pipes with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fibreglass insulation. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing in the winter and bursting