Home Maintenance Checklist For Fall And Winter

Getting your house ready for the colder months in Ottawa is important for good home maintenance.  From sealing any exterior window and door gaps with caulking to touch up painting, be ready with these tips as your guideline.

home maintenance tips for fall and winter from painters in Ottawa PG PAINT & DESIGN

Fall in Ottawa has arrived and winter is around the corner.  Just like the squirrels prepare for the colder months by finding their food and storing it, we homeowners also need to prepare our homes before settling into hibernation mode.

Preparing Our Homes For Colder Weather

As much as many of us in Ottawa would love for the warm, sunny weather to stick around all year round, we do need to prepare for the colder temperatures ahead.

Preparing our homes for the colder weather takes a little bit of work.  We reverse the process of the things we need to do from our spring and summer maintenance checklist.

Here are some tips on what you can do to check off all the boxes as done so that everything is ready for the long cold winter ahead.

Fall and Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Start with making sure you turn off the exterior water hoses from inside the house.  Make sure to drain any water left behind in the hose.  You can remove the hose and store it until spring.

turning off water from inside house for fall and winter maintenance to prevent freezing

  • By turning off all outdoor water faucets from the tap inside of your house will ensure the pipes in your home are protected from freezing when temperatures start to drop.   Otherwise you may be looking at the pipes freezing and bursting and have major problems and property damage to your home.
  • Put away the barbecue, and any patio furniture, or if you do not have the storage space at least cover them to protect them from snow and ice.  Clean up the lawnmower and pull out the snowblower.  Giving the snowblower a quick tune up with fresh top offs of all fluids and a full tank of gas will make sure it’s ready to go when we get our first major snowfall in Ottawa.
  • Clean the gutters and water spouts and eaves troughs from all the debris. This will ensure that once the ice melts again in the spring, there will be a clear way for the water to drain and won’t back up into the roof or siding.

fall leaves to be removed from exterior of house is good home maintenance

  • Cleaning up the leaves around the exterior parts of the house will alleviate the little critters like mice and chipmunks from finding ways to get in. They seem to like finding areas covered in leaves to hide, and there’s always a small pin hole they can get in through.
  • Seal any gaps around the exterior of your house with the right type of caulk so that little critters cannot get in.  Caulking the gaps will help significantly.  To make sure you can spot the gaps, you can walk around the exterior of your house with a mirror held up under the areas where gaps may be.
  • Usually between the siding and the cement or brick are spots where mice can get in from.  Even around the area where your kitchen fan or clothes dryer vents are.  These are areas where caulking them properly to make sure there are no pencil thin like gaps where mice can enter will make you sleep better at night knowing these little critters are not sharing your food.  🙂

Take a look at the trees and bushes on your property.  Make sure they are in good health to survive the harsh Canadian winters.  Fall is the perfect time to prune them and care for them so that they survive the long cold months and flourish again in the spring.

  • Take a walk around your house and look for any signs of damage to the roof, siding or foundation.  If there are things you notice that may need repairing, then you still have time to do them yourself or call in a roofing professional when winter damage is noticed.
  • Take a look at the exterior paint around the house.  When was the last time touch up or repainting was done.  Between 3 to 5 years is how often you need to paint the exterior of the house.
  • Check if the paint is cracking or flaking around or on the windows or front door.  It’s a clear sign that painting needs to be done.  You may want to hire a professional painting company in Ottawa to take care of it in the fall or wait until spring to get the best possible exterior painting results.
  • This would help protect them against the harsh environmental stresses of winter.  Fall is a perfect time to get touch ups or paint the front door and garage to give it a fresh look through the winter and it takes one item off the spring cleaning checklist.

exterior painting of window for good home maintenance

  • Check with a to see if maintenance is needed to the exterior paint.  Painting the exterior of your home is good maintenance.  To avoid problems with exterior paint such as peeling or sticking it’s best to make sure you paint in the right outdoor temperatures and avoid painting right after it rains.  For paint to best adhere to an exterior surface it needs to be dry from humidity and moisture for at least 2 or 3 days.  This will ensure the best result and helps to maintain your home’s exterior paint finish.
  • Your house will sell faster if it is maintained by painting it every 3 to 5 years.

Maintenance For The House

To ensure you are prepared for the colder temperatures ahead make sure you do the following things around the house to keep up the maintenance.

  • Check the weatherstripping around the frames of the windows and doors, to make sure no cold air enters and no heat escapes.  This will make your home energy efficient.
  • If you have a window installed air conditioner, make sure to remove it or make sure it’s properly covered and insulated to keep the cold air out.  If you have a regular A/C unit outside of the house that works through the furnace then make sure you have it checked to make sure it’s ready to go again in the spring.  Call an Ottawa Furnace and Air Conditioning expert to ensure that both the furnace and air conditioning units will be running properly when needed.  It’s a good idea to get  yearly maintenance on both the furnace and air conditioner units.
  • Check dryer vents for any lint build up.  Make sure they are free of any lint and surrounding debris.  This will ensure your dryer ducts are working properly and most importantly reduces the risk of a fire in your home.
  • Check the fireplace and chimney before starting that first cozy fire this winter. Make sure the inside of the fireplace is clean from leftover build up of ashes and soot.  Ensure that the chimney is cleaned and if you don’t already have one, install a cap on the chimney top to prevent squirrels, birds and raccoons from being able to get in. Hiring a chimney cleaning company is a good idea because they have the experience as well as all the necessary equipment to get it done properly and safely.
  • For you and your family’s safety make sure you change the batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  Batteries need replacing once a year, a good idea is to mark it on your calendar as a reminder to change in the spring or the fall.  Make sure you check the expiry date on all home fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors you have in the house.  Find more information on fire safety from the City of Ottawa website.
  • For the safety of you and your family’s health, it is important to make sure our homes have good air quality. With today’s new technology in building materials for houses that make them air tight, there may be risks of having radon in the house. You can find out more about radon in your home from the City of Ottawa website.

Get Ready For Winter

Now that all the important things around the house have all been taken care of here are just a few other things to do before the cold weather arrives.

  • Check the snow shovels, ice scrapers for both the car(s) and the driveway/walkway to your house. It’s important to have them ready to go should a major freeze or snowfall happen. Make sure they are in good condition, especially the car scraper, so that you always have it ready to go and make your drive safe.
  • Stock up on ice melt salt bags, it makes it easier to have one or two handy in the garage for the first freezing rain storm.
  • Make sure your snow blower is ready to go. Get it serviced if it has been a long while since the last service.
  • Buy or re-stock your home and car emergency preparedness kits. Check the CAA Ottawa Saftey Kit checklist .

winter emergency home and car kit

Last but not least, the one other thing you need to get ready would be to get the snow tires out of storage and have those ready to go because you just never know when our Ottawa weather can change.  We all know that we can go to sleep one night with mild sunny weather and wake up to the brutal cold and drudging snow and ice the next morning.

white suv on snow

When you take the time to prepare your home for fall and winter  you will be able to sit back and relax as the cold weather blows in.  Winter won’t stand a chance against you and your home.

fall foliage in Ottawa
Before winter comes don’t forget to enjoy some beautiful walks around Ottawa.  All the fall colours and the fresh air are precious to us before the hibernating months of brutal cold and deep freezing temperatures.  Get out to Dow’s Lake, Hog’s Back, Rockcliffe Park, and all the other beautiful things to do in Ottawa and enjoy.

This post was originally published on September 24, 2017 @ 07:00