Fall has arrived


It’s that time of year again… when the changing of leaves means fall is upon us and that means there are a few more chores to do. 

If you haven’t started already, keep in mind that some of these tasks need to be done before weather changes prevent it.  So don’t put off your ‘honey do’ list--because some tasks can be vital to your comfort and safety.  It is necessary to adapt your inspection to your own individual home…there may be additional tasks you need to consider that are not listed.  Keep in mind that some tasks should be done far more regularly than just when the seasons change.

Here are just a few tips to consider:    

  • Clear troughs (gutters) and downspouts of all debris and ensure that water that comes from this system is unobstructed and flows away from the home’s foundation.
  • Check your home’s exterior finishes and complete any repairs necessary to ensure the house is sealed properly.
  • Check and seal any gaps around electrical, cable, or phone outlets and plumbing entries (anywhere air or water leaks may occur).
  • Ensure door and window seals are intact.  Seal gaps, replace damaged weather stripping, lubricate bearings on garage door tracks if applicable, etc.  Check window screens and if possible remove and store them for the winter to prevent damage.
  • Ensure that roof shingles, flashing, and vents are securely sealed.  Repairs should be done before the roof leaks and subsequent damage occurs. 
  • Have a professional inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
  • Check your attic, basement and/or crawlspaces for leaks, cracks, damage, critters, etc. and make applicable repairs.
  • Furnaces, HRV’s, humidifiers, water heaters, etc. should be serviced and all filters cleaned or changed.
  • Check and clean out the dryer vent.  A clogged vent is not just an energy waster it is a fire hazard.
  • Test all smoke alarms and carbon detectors.  Check fire extinguishers and review fire safety and escape plans with your family.   
  • Declutter and remove any hazards.  Check the Niagara Region website for restrictions, dates and locations for Household Hazardous Waste drop off. www.niagararegion.ca/waste/default.aspx
  • Drain all exterior water lines and shut off all exterior supplies.
  • Inspect floor drains and ensure that the trap is filled with water.
  • Check the driveway and walkways for cracks and unevenness and make repairs.
  • Check deck supports, stairs, decking, railing and make all repairs. 
  • Cover and store outdoor furniture and barbeques in an appropriate area.
  • Rake up leaves, ensure your grass is planted, and winterize your landscaping and your yard equipment. If leaving planter pots outside, empty the soil to avoid breakage. 
  • If applicable, check septic and cistern systems.
  • Ensure your snow shovel or snow blower and driveway/walkway salt is readily available…that first snow fall often comes without warning.

Check the web for additional tips that might apply to you and your property.  The steps you take now cannot only help you protect your biggest investment…they can help you protect you and your family from injury.  Remember, if you are not qualified to complete the task properly and safely, call a professional.

We at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a safe fall season.