Valuable things to protect your home as temperatures get colder.
Sweater weather is upon here in Vancouver.
It would be nice if all we needed to do was hang a fall wreath on the front door and hunker down and dive into Netflix.
While those are some of the fun things as the season changes, there are some very important preparations that homeowners should do to protect their home and prevent problems.
The following are some of the things we feel are most important as we transition from hot summer days to cooler fall temperatures and eventually some freezing days in the coming winter.
1. Remove all hoses and diverter manifolds or other attachments from all of your homes’ exterior hose bibs.
Removing hoses from hose bibs is a simple job. If you don’t do this, your frost free hose bib will not work and sub-zero temperatures will cause the valves to crack, repairs can be costly if this occurs.
In addition to simply removing hoses, we also recommend you turn off the water supply to your hose bibs and drain the ball value if you have one as an additional precaution. You may even wish to get an insulated cover to affix if you don’t plan to use your exterior hose bibs through the fall and winter.
Don’t forget to winterize all other outside water outlets; including landscape irrigation or appliances. If you have a rooftop deck or garage make sure you consider if they have hose bibs or connections that need extra insulation or attention to prepare for freezing temperatures.
2. Clean leaves and debris in gutters and eavestroughs.
Cleaning gutters and eavestroughs involves getting on a ladder and going up high. If you choose to do this, ensure you follow WorkSafeBC procedures or hire a service provider that is insured and complies with WorkSafeBC regulations.
Ensure that once all gutters and debris are cleared that water is run to check for blockages at the down-pipe connections before you or your service provider pack away ladders of consider the job done.
3. Check your roof for loose shingles, tiles or shakes.
For the sake of efficiency, we recommend you do this when you’re tackling #2. Simply inspect your whole roof to ensure it’s in good condition. Ensure you check that all vents are not blocked and clear of debris.
4. Vacuum and clean out all vents, registers, fans and replace filters throughout your home.
If you don’t already do this regularly, doing a deep clean of vents, registers and fans throughout your home in the fall is important. We recommend at least every fall as the filters in Vancouver have gone through a lot during recent summers due to the forest fire smoke coming in.
Remember your range hood vent and dryer vent to ensure they are all clear, functional and the screens are clean.
You can do this yourself fairly easily, yet there are service providers you can resource too.
Cleaning and replacing filters in all major mechanical systems is also something that should be done regularly throughout the year based on their use. If you are behind on doing this, ensuring that you do it in September or October is a must. (HRV, water filtration, heating and cooling systems…)
5. Check windows and doors for air and water leaks.
Normal wear and tear and aging of homes result in air and water leaks in all homes. Take the time to inspect the caulking around windows and weather stripping around your doors. Fixes can usually be done easily by homeowners and can be very rewarding. Alternatively, ask a neighbour for help, referrals or go online to explore handy people that can help you as needed.
6. Ensure all large trees or shrubs close to your home are trimmed well back.
Trim large trees and shrubs close to your home to avoid branches from falling and damaging the exterior of your home during storms.
Also consider clearing drains or pipes of roots that connect to city connections. You can hire a professional (AAA Drains) or rent an auger to clear any roots or potential blockages.
7. Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.
Test all devices in your home and ensure they are all in working order. If you have an older home, you may want to review the City of Vancouver requirements and update your home if necessary.
Ensure you have the fire extinguishers throughout your home; if it is not equipped with a sprinkler system.
8. Have heating and plumbing systems inspected and serviced by a professional.
9. Store away all outdoor furniture and accessories
10. Regular ongoing raking and removal of dried leaves and debris over your ground cover and any near-by storm drains.
Did you know that the City of Vancouver has over 45,000 catch basins throughout the city? To keep our neighbourhoods vibrant, safe and healthy during the wetter and colder months they have established the “Adopt A Catch Basin” program.
These suggestions should not replace the manufacturer’s recommendations on household systems.
Taking care of these items will require some time and money. It’s worth it though!
It’s vital to protecting your home; one of your most valuable investments.