As a homeowner, problems can happen out of nowhere when it comes to the condition of your home – especially if you live in an intense climate like here in Canada. That is why it is imperative to keep a close eye on it by performing regular inspections and maintenance to keep it in good shape. A thorough home inspection every fall can help you avoid any water damage, structural issues, plumbing problems or infestations during the wintertime. To get you started, here are the 5 most important fall maintenance tips for your home and windows to follow every year to ensure your home stays warm, dry and comfortable.
Pay Close Attention to Your Foundation
Foundation problems can impact the integrity and safety of your home. This can also lead to water damage which can be difficult to repair in the winter. To avoid having a minor issue fester into a major one this season, check over the following areas to prevent common foundation problems from arising: the concrete base, mortar between bricks, the grading, plumbing and crawl space, the surrounding tree roots and the windows, and the flooring in your home.
When you do your circle check, if you spot any serious cracks in the foundation, they should be filled in. The soil should also be sloped away from the home to minimize runoff, and any exterior faucets should be turned off with no dripping. If there are precarious tree limbs overhanging your property, have them trimmed back. Seal up your crawl space to ensure no critters or snow can get in there. And inspect the flooring and windows to look for any signs of foundation issues – cracking, jamming, buckling, or shrinking. If anything gives you cause for concern, call a foundation and masonry expert to perform a thorough inspection.
Get Up on Your Roof
One of the most important tasks to do in the fall is a roof inspection. By performing routine maintenance, you can maximize the lifespan of the roof and keep your home free from damage. To complete a comprehensive inspection, you will need to get up on your roof. If you are not comfortable doing this or if you don’t know much about roofing, it is best to hire a roofing professional.
If you decide to go with the DIY route, start your inspection by checking the gutters and downspouts for any issues. Each section should be intact and functioning properly without any blockages. Next, check the roof for missing or loose shingles, flashings, and vents. Secure or replace any missing or damaged areas.
While you are on the roof, take a good look at the chimney. Do you notice any loose bricks or signs of efflorescence? Is the flashing securely sealed and chimney cap free of damage? If you spot any signs of concerning with the chimney it is important to call in an expert to have it fixed before the first snowfall.
Thoroughly Inspect the HVAC System
The last thing you want to deal with during the dead of winter is a malfunctioning furnace. So, don’t forget to have your interior heating inspected well before the temperature drops. Clean out the filters, check for faulty equipment, inspect the heat exchanger, check the blower assembly and flue pipe, pilot light, and ductwork.
If you are unfamiliar with all the components involved, have an operational inspection completed by an HVAC technician. They will ensure your heating system is in tip-top shape and working optimally to keep you warm all season long.
Check Over All of the Windows in Your Home for Leaks
A faulty window can result in expensive heating bills in the winter, so it is important to check them over for signs of damage. To do this, carefully scan the windows for loose frames, damaged weatherstripping, cracked panes, and drafts.
If you notice any issues, call a professional to come and assess the level of damage. They might be able to repair the problem if it is minor. But if your windows are older than ten years, warped, broken, or facing expensive repairs, it may be better to replace them. New windows will provide better insulation, reduce your energy bills, and make your home feel more comfortable in the wintertime.
Complete A Full Door Inspection
Other common sources of air leaks are exterior doors. Inspect the weatherstripping and seals around the doors to ensure that no air is getting in. If either of the materials are not performing well or are cracked, caulk or replace if necessary.
If you have a bottom draft stopper installed, make sure that it is touching the ground and acting as an adequate shield. If you don’t have one already, purchase one and have it installed. You should also thoroughly inspect the glass inserts and replace cracked or broken panes.
In the event that your door is severely weathered, dented, or the glass partitions are beyond repair, it might be time to replace your door unit with a new one that is energy efficient, durable, and more secure.
If you need a thorough window or door inspection this fall, or if you are already considering replacing any of these features, contact us at Aztech Doors and Windows. Our team is staffed with seasoned experts in both window and door replacements who have been servicing the Greater Toronto Area for more than 30 years. Get started today by booking a free no-obligation consultation/estimate.