The approaching cold weather is no joke in certain areas, bringing along such a dramatic change there’s a decent bit of preparation we have to go through to make sure our home is ready for the new weather conditions.
This Fall checklist will guide you through the most important steps in preparation for the season. Our goal is to make sure everything that needs inspection and repairs are done before the cold weather comes, when it can become much harder to perform these actions – or in some cases, even make the damage worse.
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“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you. – Walt Whitman
1. Cold weather supplies
If you’re expecting to deal with snow and ice in your region, it’s wise to stock up on winter supplies ahead of time. This includes snow shovels, ice scrapers, ice melt, and chain for your car’s tires – if necessary.
Also check and restock on your emergency car kit. Depending on your region, some of these might seem like overkill, but most of them are useful to have nonetheless:
- Ice shovel
- Booster cable
- Road flare or warning sign
- Traction aid (salt or sand)
- Antifreeze fluid
- Flashlight and batteries
- Tool kit (screwdriver, wrench, etc.)
- Non-perishable food and water
- Tow rope
- Emergency phone charger
2. Exterior repairs
This is perhaps the most labour intensive part, since there’s a lot of very important topics to consider. Since there’s so much to go through, the best way to go about it is to inspect each part with a professional to confirm if any repairs are needed.
Here’s what you should consider:
Faucets and plumbing
The extreme cold in certain regions can freeze faucets and pipes, which is why in most cases it’s advised to shut them off.
Gutters and downspouts
These can get clogged easily with leaves and debris, so it’s worth inspecting and making sure everything is flowing smoothly for the cold season.
Roof and siding
Depending on the materials and current conditions for your roofing and siding, simple repairs or even an upgrade might be underway.
Ideally, your foundation might not need any repairs at all, but an inspection is a good idea to be sure. The cold weather can aggravate certain kinds of damage and make it much harder (and expensive) to deal with later.
Random cracks on concrete
Cracks on driveways and pavement should be dealt with before ice comes in. Luckily, these are usually simple repairs that won’t take much time.
Chimney and fireplace
If you have a chimney and fireplace, a simple chimney inspection is already enough to let you need if any work should be done.
3. Safety devices
First, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, replacing the batteries if necessary. Also make sure your fire extinguisher hasn’t expired and replace it if it did.
4. HVAC maintenance
You can start by performing a thorough home inspection all around, going through your A/C units, furnace, vents, and so on. It should reveal any problems you have to take care of immediately to prevent any problems in the future.
It’s also worth checking the condition of your thermostat – if it’s working well or if maybe an upgrade is under way.
Finally, inspect your home’s insulation. Insulation is extremely important for colder seasons, since it will dramatically improve how well your home will stay warm and energy efficient, saving you money in the process.
Finally, the landscaping process: in colder regions you might have to prepare your garden if you want your plants to survive the cold. Pruning trees and shrubs while raking leaves is always a good practice, but don’t forget to also plant during Fall if you want that Spring bloom!
Looking for a full home inspection? Talk to an inspection professional today and get free quotes in your area!