As Canadian homeowners, we have an obligation to protect our homes from the country’s four distinct seasons. Like people, houses aren’t impervious to weather changes. They require care and upkeep to stay intact and protect its occupants throughout the harsh winter months against the cold and moisture. If you plan on waiting after September to start your fall household chores, you may end up spending a lot more than you should on repairs come spring. This fall, don’t make these expensive homeowner mistakes:
#1: Waiting Until the First Frost to Test Your Furnace
Waiting until you need to use the furnace to check to see if it’s in working order may leave you in a pickle… or a freezing cold house. Furnaces require regular maintenance that goes beyond replacing the filter—something you should be doing at least every few months, by the way. Test out your furnace before the temperature starts to drop, so that if there are any issues with your system, you can get them serviced before the fall weather takes over.
#2: Caulking Windows Over Old Sealant
All homeowners should make sure their homes are properly insulated. Not only does poor insulation lead to a miserable indoor environment, it also ends up costing a lot of money in heating bills. If you remembered to check that your windows are all properly sealed before fall settles in, you’ve only done half the work. It’s important to reseal your windows using new caulking. Patching up holes over existing caulking does not create as strong of a bond as brand-new caulking, and the product you use needs to be applied on a clean, dry surface. Plus, replacing your caulking looks more professional and less messy.
#3: DIY Pressure Washing Your House
As a professional pressure washing company, we know when it’s the right time to power wash the exterior of your house… and autumn is not it. Power washing your siding on full blast can damage the exterior, which can lead to excessive moisture that just sits there and rots your foundation. And without the advantage of hot summer weather to absorb the excessive moisture, you’ll be facing an expensive repair. Our suggestion? Hire a professional power washing company that has the right tools and the experience to safely clean debris from the exterior of your home.
#4: Ignoring Your Chimney
It doesn’t matter if you don’t plan on using your chimney this fall and winter. You should get it checked to find out if there are any blockages or damage. You may decide later that you will use your chimney after all, at which point it will be too late to safely climb up to the roof to make the inspection. Excess soot and creosote buildup inside the chimney is a house fire waiting to happen. Blockages can also prevent smoke from properly escaping up the chimney, which might blow back into the house. If your bricks are loose, your chimney may also be home to your neighbourhood squirrel or bird—you definitely don’t want to make this discovery after you light your first fire.
#5: Unprepared for Snow
The only thing predictable about BC snowfall is its unpredictability. You may go to bed one night with fresh green grass still on the lawn, only to wake up and find it buried beneath a foot of white powder. Don’t get caught without the right tools and equipment you need to make your home safe. Before the first frost, be sure to stock up on de-icer and sand or cat litter for your walkways and make sure that your shovel is in good working order. Don’t forget to switch your summer tires while you’re at it.
If you have a snowblower, now might be a good time to dust it off and check to see if it still works. If you forgot to change the oil in the spring when you last used it, now would be a good time to do so.
#6: Cutting Corners on Roof Repairs
If your roof is ever going to fail you, it’s going to be in the winter—the absolute worst time to have a damaged roof. Our roofs take a huge beating in the winter. Most roofs can safely hold up to 20 pounds-per-square-foot of snow, but if you experience warm and cold periods, snow will be more condensed and therefore heavier, even if it looks like the same amount sitting up there. Regularly cleaning snow off your roof is one thing, but checking your roof for damage before the first snowfall is the smarter move.
Resist the urge to reuse roofing materials, as they won’t last as long. While you may think you’re saving money by reusing that metal gutter apron, you’re guaranteeing more work and more expenses for yourself in the near future.
#7: Leaving Cracks
Your house’s number-one enemy is moisture. Moisture leads to mould, mildew, rot, and eventually, structural damage that can empty any savings account you have. Leaving foundational cracks unattended before winter sets in will invite high moisture levels that only get worse as the snow begins to melt. Fixing cracks may seem like a big job now, but you’ll pay only a fraction of what you’ll have to dish out if you have to repair your foundation. Plus, once the snow sets in, you have no choice but to wait until spring or summer to fix it.
#8: Not Cleaning Your Gutters
And speaking about the dangers of moisture, cleaning your gutters is perhaps the number-one thing that homeowners tend to forget about every fall. The entire purpose of a properly running gutter system is to keep rainwater and melted snow away from the house—something it cannot do if the gutters are blocked with leaves, pine needles, dirt, and animal nests. If a gutter becomes clogged, water starts to back up and eventually spill off the sides and onto the exterior of your home. Avoid expensive repairs by taking your gutter cleaning seriously this fall.
Contact Diamond Clean today for a professional gutter cleaning service in Langley, Surrey, and Burnaby!