Fall is the time to get your home ready for the coming winter, which can be the most gruelling season for your home. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests you perform a variety of tasks which will help you to avoid the most common — and costly — problems before they occur. Some of these tasks are:
* Ensure leaves and other debris are removed from eavestroughs and downspouts for proper drainage from the roof. Ensure that downspouts direct water away from the house foundation.
* If you have a gas, oil, or other non-electric heating system, have it serviced by a qualified company (every two years for a gas furnace and every year for an oil furnace or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions). Have the chimneys or combustion vents checked for nests or other obstructions before turning on your heating system.
* If you have a furnace, check and clean or replace filters on a monthly basis during the heating season.
* Gently vacuum in and around hot water baseboard and electric baseboard heaters to remove dust. Remove the grilles on forced-air heating systems and vacuum inside the ducts. Ensure airflow dampers are open.
* Remove and store window screens, install storm windows, and ensure all windows, doors and skylights shut tightly, including the door between your house and garage; repair or replace weatherstripping, as needed.
* Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall to decrease the likelihood of water draining into the basement.
* Winterize landscaping by storing outdoor furniture, preparing gardens and, if necessary, protecting young trees or bushes.