Fall Home Maintenance in Calgary
As the vibrant colors of summer transition into the warm hues of autumn, it’s time for homeowners in Calgary to prepare their homes for the upcoming season. Fall is a crucial period for home maintenance, as it helps safeguard your property against the harsh winter elements and ensures a cozy and comfortable living environment.
Calgary’s fall weather is famous for fluctuating temperatures, intermittent snowfalls, and the sweet relief of chinooks. However, these swings in weather patterns can take a toll on our homes. This transition period from summer to winter is the ideal time to address maintenance issues before they escalate.
Homeowners in Calgary face unique maintenance challenges due to the harsh winter climate. Detecting areas requiring maintenance is one of the crucial aspects a home inspection provides. The after report clearly lays out a roadmap for addressing issues before they become costly and inconvenient problems.
Although, even if you haven’t recently had a home inspection we strive for every Calgarian to be equipped with practical home maintenance knowledge. That’s why you’ve built this comprehensive guide to fall home maintenance in Calgary to help you ensure your home is in top shape before winter arrives:
Inspect your Roof & Gutters
- Gutters play a crucial role in directing rainwater away from your home, preventing water damage to the foundation, walls, and roof. Start your summer home maintenance routine by inspecting and cleaning the gutters. Remove any debris, leaves, or twigs that may have accumulated over time. Ensure that the gutters are securely fastened and free of leaks. Properly functioning gutters will help protect your home during summer storms.
Check and Seal Windows and Doors
- Inspect the caulking and weatherstripping around your windows and doors. Replace any damaged or worn-out seals to prevent drafts and maintain energy efficiency.
Clean and Store Away Outdoor Furniture
- Clean and store your outdoor furniture in a protected area to prevent damage from the harsh winter weather.
Prepare your Heating System & Change the Filter
- Schedule a professional inspection and maintenance for your heating system to ensure it operates efficiently during the winter months. Preventative maintenance is the best maintenance. While many local companies do offer 24/7 emergency repairs it’s best to avoid a heating failure altogether when it’s -40°C outside.
If you followed the spring, and summer maintenance posts then it should come as no surprise that it is once again time to change the furnace filter. Pick up a spare now, avoid the snow, and be ready for when we do it again as part of our Winter maintenance.
Inspect and Clean the Fireplace & Chimney
- Before you light your first fire, have your fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. If you’re fortunate to have a wood burning fireplace this is a good failsafe should modern heating systems fail. However, if the fireplace and chimney haven’t been maintained then turning to them in an emergency situation may only turn up more problems.
Examine your Insulation
- Check the insulation in your attic and walls to ensure it’s in good condition. Also, check to see that insulation hasn’t moved or shifted in the attic. This will create areas that have poor thermal performance. Proper insulation helps keep your home warm and helps reduce heating costs.
Lawn & Garden Clean-Up
- Trim back overgrown branches and bushes, remove dead plants, and clean up fallen leaves to prevent mold and pests. Once the snow hits this all becomes hidden and has the potential to be hazardous as you traverse the yard.
Test Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Test and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working correctly.
Check for Pest Infestations
- Inspect your home for any signs of pest infestations, such as rodents or insects, and take preventive measures. This includes sealing up an area’s that might be accessible, and deemed suitable homes for hibernation.
Clean and Prepare the Exterior
- Power wash the exterior of your home to remove dirt and grime, improving its appearance and longevity. Look for any holes between the exterior and interior where sealant is no longer effective. Plan to have these areas re-sealed to avoid heat loss and cold drafts.
Replace Exterior Lighting
- Ensure that your outdoor lighting is functional for safety and security during the darker months. Be proactive and install new bulbs if you know they haven’t been changed in awhile. Solar lighting will be less effective in the winter, with reduced sun and snow cover. Consider installing additional hard-wired lights if you find it too dark outside your home.
Clean & Organize your Garage
- Organize your garage by storing summer equipment and ensuring that snow removal tools are easily accessible. Crazy idea, but consider clearing out a space for you to park inside the garage. We Calgarians seem to be notorious about not actually using our garages for our vehicles – myself included.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
- Create an emergency kit with essentials like flashlights, blankets, and non-perishable food items in case of power outages or severe weather conditions. By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. Winter isn’t the most favourable time to have things go sideways.
- While you can tackle many of these tasks yourself, some are best left to professionals. For instance, electrical work and chimney cleaning should be handled by experts to ensure safety and peace of mind. Use your best judgement to determine what you’re comfortable handling, and where it’s best to hire a pro.
Best Practices for Fall Home Maintenance in Calgary
Here are some best practices for fall maintenance based on the findings of your home inspection:
- Regular inspections: Schedule annual home inspections to catch issues early.
- Professional expertise: Rely on professionals for tasks beyond your comfort level.
- Timely repairs: Address issues promptly to prevent them from worsening.
Wrapping up your Fall season maintenance
- By following this detailed checklist and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you’ll be well-prepared to face the challenges of the upcoming winter with confidence.
Fall home maintenance is an essential part of homeownership, and as your Calgary Home Inspectors, we’re here to help you identify maintenance needs during our inspections, giving you the knowledge and tools to keep your home in top condition. As winter approaches, remember that prevention is key to a safe and comfortable living space.
Contact The Calgary Home Inspector Corp. for professional home inspections, and let us assist you in preparing your home for the challenges of the coming season.