With cooler temperatures setting in, now is the time to start readying your home for when the snow flies. Prevent any unwelcome surprises this winter and upcoming spring with the help of these essential fall maintenance tips:

1. Store Outdoor Items 

Start by giving your outdoor furniture and tools a quick clean before putting them away in storage (or under a weatherproof cover). Ready motorized outdoor equipment such as your weed trimmer or lawnmower by either removing any remaining gas or adding a stabilizer to what’s left in the tank.

2. Fertilize Your Lawn 

Set your lawn up for success next spring by giving it a final weed and feed now. Be sure to mulch or rake up any leaves, so the fertilizer really has a chance to take root (you may even want to consider aerating for this purpose).

3. Prune Your Plants 

Just like your lawn, trees and shrubs will also benefit from a little pre-winter yard care. Not only will fall pruning encourage growth for the following year, but it also allows you to remove any limbs or branches that may prove dangerous after a heavy snowfall.

4. Turn Off the Water 

Protect your pipes from freezing up this winter by turning off your outdoor faucets. Here too, you’ll want to disconnect your garden hose and turn off your sprinkler system to prevent any ruptures.

5. Check All Detectors 

As the temperature drops, furnaces and fireplaces kick into high hear. For this reason, you’ll want to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a good time to replace the batteries and, while you’re at it, check the expiration date on the device itself.

6. Clean Gutters and Downspouts 

After most of the leaves have fallen, check your gutter and downspouts for any accumulated debris. In Edmonton’s sub-zero climate, blocked gutters are especially prone to ice damming, causing severe damage to your roof and siding.

7. Assess Your Roof…

Tackling your gutters will also give you the chance to assess the current condition of your roof. Are there any cracked, warped or missing or shingles? As this could be a sign of future leaks to come, you’ll want to address any necessary repairs now.

8. … and Your Foundation

Just like your roof, damaged foundations are also prone to water ingress and leaks. Check for any unusual cracks and ensure your downspouts are extended a few feet away from your home (you can also do this with the help of a downspout extension).

9. Check For Drafts 

Stay warm this winter while keeping utility bills to a minimum by checking the weatherstripping around doors and windows (including your garage door, if attached). You’ll also want to inspect your attic for signs of depleted or improperly installed insulation while making sure the attic door is sealed off from the rest of the home.

10. Clean Your Dryer Vents 

Not only does lint build-up affect your dryer’s functionality, but it also poses a potential fire hazard. With a decrease in outdoor humidity comes an increase in static electricity, which can quickly ignite any build-up in your dryer vents.

11. Clean Your Chimney 

Your chimney is also prone to dangerous build-up, including harmful creosote and soot – a primary cause of chimney fires. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned so you can enjoy your fireplace worry-free this upcoming winter.

12. Tune Up Your Furnace 

In addition to changing your furnace air filter, experts recommend hiring a furnace specialist for a tune-up. During the inspection, they will look for inefficiencies and check for signs of carbon monoxide build-up. Now is also the time to look for dust build-up in your HVAC system, which, when clean, will also keep your utility bills to a minimum.

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Posted by Terry Paranych on


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