Fall is already here and we have some tips to help you prepare your home for the changing weather conditions and temperatures we'll be seeing in the coming weeks.
Roofs - A pair of binoculars helps you when inspecting the general condition of your roof. Look for signs of missing shingles/tiles, cracks or other damage and the integrity of flashings around vents, chimneys etc. Seek professional guidance if you have doubts over your roof's condition
Gutters/downpipes - Inspect your gutters to ensure that nothing is going to get in the way of rainwater run-off. Inadequate drainage can damage your foundations, so ensure water is drained away from downpipes to avoid sending water straight down to them.
Heating systems - There's nothing worse, or more likely, than a heating system that fails just as the temperature drops to the point that it's essential. Save yourself any unpleasant surprises by getting your heating system serviced now.
Air leakage - Poorly sealed windows and doors can make a sizeable dent in your wallet, by allowing expensive hot air to leak outside. Weather stripping and appropriate sealants will more than pay for themselves by keeping heat working efficiently for you.
External air conditioning unit - This should be covered for winter, when aircon is no longer in use.
Fireplaces - An annual maintenance regime is essential. A professional is again the best option here, to cover all bases, including flue cleaning, blockage clearance etc.
Faucets/sprinkler systems/general plumbing - Close off valves that serve outside faucets, then open to drain. If you have no shut off valve, consider purchasing an appropriate insulated cover for your faucet. Sprinkler systems will require the correct manufacturer maintenance regime, so make sure that information is to hand, or source it online, so you can make the appropriate preparations. Also look for any obvious areas of vulnerability to freezing in your overall plumbing set up.
Seal holes and gaps - Critters will be seeking shelter in the coming weeks, so sealing holes and gaps in your home's external envelope right now means they'll have a tougher time using your home as their fall/winter retreat.
Walkways/drives - Repair damage to these areas now to avoid potentially nasty consquences when it begins to freeze.
Ceiling fans - Don't forget to reverse your ceiling fan direction to force warm air down.
Trees and shrubs - Pruning of trees and shrubs is very important to greatly reduce the potential for falling branches etc. in storm conditions. Also keep looking for any signs that might indicate some necessary treatment, including very early leaf colour changes, thin or brown pines and dead branches.
Decks/fencing - Right now is a perfect time to restain if needed.
Snow removal items - Stock up with salt and have your snow removal tools ready. The first fall of snow usually catches us by surprise, so be prepared.