Now is the time to get to outside and check those tasks off your fall to-do list. There are lots of sunny days ahead still and the more seasonable weather makes spending time outdoors more comfortable, so you can get a lot done.
Village Media spoke to Jack from Heritage Home Hardware in Sault Ste. Marie about the most important home maintenance tasks to get done in preparation for winter.
This is also an ideal time to address any repair issues, he says. For starters, harsh winter weather makes a number of tasks impossible to work on. Snow and ice will just further damage any existing issues, resulting in even costlier repairs.
Start by taking a walk around your home and examining the following areas to see if they need fixing.
Driveways and walkways
Are there any small cracks or holes in your driveway or walkways? Even if they’re barely noticeable now, they can expand greatly after a winter of repeated freezing and unfreezing.
These tools can help you care for your driveway and walkways before the cold weather descends:
- A pressure washer. It can remove dirt, debris and chemicals that can damage surfaces when water freezes over in winter
- Cleaning tools. Use brooms, brushes and mops to prep surfaces for repair
- Driveway care products. Try driveway fillers, sealers and rollers to seal up cracks and spall concrete
- Masonry tools. Trowels, chisels, edgers and groovers help you execute your repairs
Now is the time to inspect your roof as you won’t be able to during the winter. If you see anything that’s in need of repair, address it. If you’re a seasoned DIYer, it may be a job you can tackle yourself—as long as you wear a safety harness. In most cases it would be wise to call in a professional.
You want to ensure that your roof can withstand the worst of winter’s winds and snow. If there are any shingles missing, replace them. Patch up any leaks.
These tools can help you tackle minor roof repairs and delay any major replacement costs until spring:
- Roof repair supplies. Waterproof sealant, roof cements and fabric mesh will come in handy
- Roofing underlay and flashing
- Roofing shingles
- Roofing screws and roofing nails
- Caulk, coatings and sealers to tackle small roof repairs
It’s time for a thorough chimney cleaning, before it will be put into service again. Inspect it and make any repairs while you can. Call in a professional to do this, unless you have experience and a safety harness, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
Everyone should schedule an annual chimney cleaning; it is essential to clear the buildup of soot and prevent chimney fires. You’ll also want to check your smoke detectors and flue dampers to ensure everything is in working order.
These essential supplies can help you stay safe and warm this winter:
- Chimney supplies such as flues, piping, flashing and insulation
- Chimney brushes to help clear away soot
- Chimney caps to prevent raccoons or other animals from nesting inside
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to alert you to any danger
This is also the best time of year to fix your siding. Start by inspecting, repairing and replacing any damaged sliding. Strong winter winds can tear a loose piece of siding right off the house, which further damages the underlying materials.
If you take care of any minor siding repairs in the fall—like replacing bent panels and cracked boards—you can avoid costly repairs in the spring.
These supplies can help:
- Siding panels to replace damaged pieces
- Caulk, coatings and sealers for minor repairs
- Exterior paint to help protect your siding from the elements
Don’t forget your gutters! Make sure they are clear of leaves and any damaged sections have been repaired. Proper drainage is a must, so clear and repair your eavestroughs and downspouts for proper functioning.
If you don’t, water can pool and freeze, causing extensive damage to your roof or foundation.
These are your go-to’s:
- Drainage, eavestroughs and accessories help repair and replace gutters and downspouts
- Caulk, coatings and sealers help fix leaks and make gutter repairs easy
- Garden hoses, nozzles and ladders let you clear debris from gutters and improve drainage
Did you know that it is best to paint when the temperature ranges from 1.7°C to 37.8°C? That makes this a great time of year to paint your home’s exterior. Before temperatures drop for good, take advantage of the low humidity to ensure an even coat.
There are practical benefits to a fresh coat of paint, whether it’s on siding or trim. It helps to seal exterior surfaces from wet winter conditions and extends your home’s looks and longevity.
- Exterior paint, including cold temperature painting options
- Painting accessories such as tape and drop cloths to prep surfaces for painting
- Paintbrushes, rollers and tray kits help get the job done right
Windows and doors
If there are any gaps around your windows or doors, sealing and caulking them helps prevent drafts and ice damage.
You can also reinforce these seals with weather stripping; this helps insulate your home for the winter and can save energy and money. Window insulator kits, garage door seals and draft guards make winterizing easy.
Make your home pest-proof
Soon pests and small animals will soon start seeking shelter for the fall and winter, if they haven’t already. Inspect your exteriors and seal any access points.
These tools can help:
- Weatherstripping and caulking
- Steel wool to fill larger gaps and cracks
- Screening around dryer vents, chimneys, pet doors and mail slots
Winterize outdoor gear
Your lawn and garden tools will be stored away for the winter, but before you retire them for the season, make sure all of this outdoor equipment has been properly winterized.
These steps will ensure your tools stay in top form:
- Drain fuel, change the oil and sharpen the blades on your lawnmower
- Clean and cover your BBQ, and remove the propane tank for safe storage
- Drain your pressure washer and disconnect hoses and wands
- Drain your garden hoses and store them indoors
- Turn off your air conditioner and cover the outdoor condenser unit
Fall is the perfect time to ready your home for the winter. Tackling these maintenance projects now will help ward off costly renovations and repairs come springtime.
For more fall outdoor projects, visit Heritage Home Hardware or call 705-759-5101.