We all know the simple tasks of getting ready for winter around the house here in the Niagara Region; clean the gutters, rake the leaves, cover the a/c (which we’ll get back to), but there are a number of other winterizing ideas that are excellent maintenance tips as well.
1. Check the caulking.
We’re pretty big on this one, it’s the last line of defence from water seeping in to all those little places you don’t want it to. Check the bottle, they normally have a temperature sensitivity on them, and once you start going you can make some nice lines like the pros with some practice. And if you have wood windows or siding, make sure they’re sealed with a good coat of paint/stain as well.
2. Turn off the outside taps
Do you remember where the shut offs are? I’ve seen a couple burst pipes and it’s not a pretty sight. They should have a bleed valve on them which allows you to drain the water out of the line once the tap is off.
3. Turn off the a/c breaker
It saves power. As far as the covers go they’re ok, but a simple board on top does just fine and lets the sides breathe which is better for it in the long run.
Again something we’re really big on. When all that snow starts to melt, especially the ice by Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, make sure it’s flowing away from your basement, not towards it
5. Check the roof
Use binoculars if you have to, you’re looking for any flipped up or missing shingles, caulking again at flashings and any exposed nail heads. Get those upper downspouts extended across any lower roof line instead of spilling on top of them.
6. Service the furnace
The pros call it “light up” season. When everyone starts turning on the furnace, some come to realize that it’s not working this year. A qualified HVAC technician should check things you can’t inside the furnace and hopefully prevent anything from happening at midnight on Christmas Eve.
7. Clean out the ditches or area drains
Its another great tool for drainage and keeping the basement dry. Also the community around you is using them as well, and counting on them to work. Make sure they aren’t full of leaves or plastic bags, etc. to ensure good drainage.
8. Clean the chimney
There are a number of companies that are crazy busy right now cleaning and checking chimneys for customers. Good maintenance would be having it checked every year. If you don’t remember the last time you cleaned yours it’s probably time.
– Daryl Vanden Bogert, CHI – Castlerock Professional Home Inspections – www.crinspections.com