You worked hard, sacrificed and saved for a down payment and now you are a proud home owner. Taking care of your home will save you money on maintenance and increase your homes value over time. Winters can take a toll on your home; but, if you prepare, you can get ahead of old man winter with these maintenance tips.
Not only do we have winter to contend with, but fall fills our yards eaves troughs and downspouts with leaves and debris. Cleaning these out in advance of winter will help prolong their life and prevent issues from arising. A clogged gutter can back up, overflow and may even damage the roof.
Gutters and Downspouts
Ideally, you’ll want to do this when the weather is favourable, before the snow flies. Be sure to have someone assist you; and, if you’re afraid of heights, it may be best to hire someone who has experience. Clean out any debris and flush the gutters out with the hose or plan to do them in advance of a rainy day and let mother nature flush them out. Ensure that your downspouts extend far away from the house and check your basement and attic for stains which would indicate a roof issue or that your drainage system isn’t sending the water far enough from the foundation. Downspout extensions are an inexpensive investment.
If your home is equipped with a sump pump, now is a good time to test it. Locate where the water ejects and ensure that it is clear of dirt and debris, like your downspouts ensure that it is discharging well away from the foundation, it’s pointless if the water is being directed back inside. Check the electrical cords and their connections and make sure they are in good shape. If your sump pump doesn’t come on often, pouring water into the pump pit until the float rises is good way to make sure it’s functioning. The pump should turn on and then shut off once the water discharges. If it doesn’t come on, you may need to replace it. Alternatively, if your sump pump runs frequently, you may want to invest in a back up battery, especially if you’re away often.
Hoses and Outside Taps
In advance of winter, ensure to drain all of your garden hoses and outside taps. Remove all exterior hoses and then go inside and turn off the water at all the shutoff valve(s) inside your home. Once you’ve done that, go outside and turn the taps to the on position, this will drain any water left in the pipes. Be sure to leave the tap open as this will prevent any pressure from building up if it freezes. Before storing away your hoses, unwind them and lay them out, draining any water before rolling it up to store it for the winter.
If your home has window wells be sure to inspect and make repairs before the snow flies. They do sell clear covers for window wells that will prevent them from filling up with snow but that still let the light in.
Brickwork and Foundation
Visually inspect the exterior of your home for cracks in the brickwork and foundation. Finding these items in advance of a problem can save you grief and money. Fill any cracks accordingly, either by caulking areas or by have a professional repair them. We’re happy to connect you with one of our preferred partners should the need arise.
Prevention is the best approach; ignoring little problems now will only make it more costly later. Be sure to repeat these tasks annually, you’ll be happy you did.