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Hello Autumn-Your Complete Fall Home Maintenance Check List

Hello Autumn

Your Complete Fall Home’s  Maintenance  Check List

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. Keep your home warm and running efficiently with our fall home maintenance checklist. It’s time to get your home ready for winter.

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. Keep your home warm and running efficiently with our fall home maintenance checklist. It’s time to get your home ready for winter.

Most of the tasks listed below are well with-in the average home owner’s ability. But if you decide on hiring a professional to take care of them, it’s worth the expense. You will save time, money and perhaps even your life.

Fall Home Maintenance Check-List

  • Roof Inspection
  • Chimney
  • Gutters
  • Doors & Windows
  • Exterior Hoses
  • Driveways & Walkways
  • Air-Conditioning Maintenance
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Furnace Maintenance
  • Wood Burning Stove Maintenance
  • Smoke Detectors
  • General Clean Up

Roof Inspection

Make sure the roof is in good condition. Check for loose or missing tiles and for any cracks in the chimney. If you’ve been putting off the task replacing the shingles over the last few years, well now’s a good time to get them replaced. Hire a professional roofing contractor to patch up any gaps and replace shingles.

Chimney

Implementing a chimney maintenance plan is always critical for insuring the safety of your home and family. The function of a chimney is to carry dangerous fireplace, wood, oil or furnace and boiler gases safely out of your home.   Chimney fires are entirely preventable with proper care and cleaning. Inspect the exterior of the chimney for sings of damage. Have the flue inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.

Gutters

Check the gutter systems outside your home. Be mindful for any broken or leaking gutters, and repair them as soon possible. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. Clear out any leaves and other debris that tend to collect over the summer and fall seasons and have them covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning. Doing this will reduce the risks of leaks and blockages during freezing weather.

Doors and Windows

Fall is a great time to get out and check the caulking around doors and windows. Proper caulking keeps moisture away and helps with drafts issues. Again caulking makes your home more efficient and helps prevent mold.

Drafts through your front doors don’t seem as much of a problem in the summer months, but the truth is it can be.  If your weather strip allows a ¼” opening around a door, it’s like a hole in the wall that is 4” x 4”.  Drafts don’t seem as noticeable the summer months because the air flows from cold to warm which is why it’s more noticeable in the winter season.

On that note, the best course of action would be replace the weather strip on your door. You can do this by going to your local building supply company and purchase a weather strip that is similar to what is currently on your door.  If you don’t see one that is similar just buy a “universal” type and install it on the door frame.  Every little bit of money saved on the Electricity Bill is a good thing and you may be pleasantly surprised next summer when you notice a difference of savings  in your electricity  bill since your doors will seal better!

Exterior Hoses

Commonly Known as hose bibs or sill-cocks, the exterior faucet needs to have its water supply turned off inside the house, and you also need to drain water from it by opening up the exterior faucet. You may also want to consider an insulated cover for the hose bib. Your garden hoses should be disconnected from the sill cocks or outside faucets and drained if stored outside.

Driveway & Walkways

Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches.

Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths.

Most small jobs are well within the ability of a do-it-yourself, but save major repairs for experienced hands.

Air-Conditioning Maintenance

Central Air conditioning systems: Take a hose with the spray head set to “jet” or the highest pressure you have and clean the fan blades and condensing coils of clear of debris and dirt. Left unprotected the condensing unit can be damaged by wet leaves and debris that contribute to rusting and freezing of internal components. Although these units are designed for outdoor use, covering them with a breathable waterproof cover made for that purpose will extending the life and efficient performance of the unit.

Outdoor Furniture

Any outdoor furniture and garden accessories, lighting, should be stored in a dry place such a shed or a garage. If you lack storage space and have the room, you may even use space in your basement to protect your items from the winter elements.

Furnace Maintenance

Fall is a perfect time to clean or replace your furnace filter. Reusable filters can be washed down and re installed. Disposable filters should be replaced with a new one. Dirty filters lower your HVAC system’s efficiency so it’s a good idea to change them accordingly.

Once a year, it’s a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall, before the heating season begins.

Here are signs that you should have an inspection performed sooner:

Noisy Belts– Unusual screeches or whines may be a signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.

Poor Performance– A heating system that doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did could be a sign of various problems. Your heating ducts might be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted, or the blower motor could be on its last legs. One check you should be sure to conduct: Make sure your furnace filter is clean.

Erratic Behaviour– This could be caused by a faulty thermostat or a misadjusted furnace.

Wood Burning Stove Maintenance

Wood burning stoves are a great way to add atmosphere and warmth to your home. But regular inspections are needed to ensure that these devices don’t become a safety hazard. Here’s how to check them.

 Cracks in stovepipes attached to wood stoves can release toxic fumes into your home. Throughout the heating season, you should check for corrosion, holes, or loose joints. Clean the stovepipe, and then look for signs of deterioration or looseness. Replace stovepipe if necessary.

 Smoke Detectors

Test your smoke alarm monthly and clean it every 6 months.  Mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget.  Things to remember when testing your smoke alarm:

  • Ensure that power is being transmitted to the alarm and that it will activate in the presence of smoke.
  • Test your smoke alarm by pressing the test button.
  • Even alarms with a pilot light that indicate power is being transmitted, should be tested regularly.
  • Battery-operated smoke alarms will warn you when batteries need replacing.   Despite this, make it a habit to change the batteries yearly.
  • When you’ve been away from home for a few days, check your alarm on your return to ensure it is working properly.
  • Remember, your smoke alarm can’t protect you if the batteries have been removed or a plug has been disconnected.
  • The lifespan of a typical smoke alarm is about 10 years, but some models last as little as 5 years.
  • To clean the alarm, open the cover and gently vacuum the interior of it.  Frequently, the alarm will sound while the unit is being cleaned.

General Clean Up

Rid your home of accumulations of old newspapers and leftover hazardous household chemicals. (Check with your local Municipal Hazardous Waste or Special Waste Agency about the proper way to discard dangerous chemicals.) Store flammable materials and poisons in approved, clearly labeled containers. Keep a clear space around heaters, furnaces, and other heat-producing appliances.

 

We offer a wide range of home improvement services for your home including FREE ESTIMATES in Durham Region. Call 905-259-5249 or email infodonofalltrades@gmail.com. Visit our website at http://www.donofalltrades.ca to find out more!

 

Check out our blog and get more home improvements tips and advice at donofalltradesblog.wordpress.com or call Don of all Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services  at  905-259-5249 for a Free-In-Home Consultation in Durham Region today!

Check Out Don of All Trades Staircase Makeover Video

 

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Your Fall Home’s Maintenance Check List-Don Of All Trades

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. Keep your home warm  and running efficiently with our fall home maintenance checklist. It’s time to get your home ready  for winter.

Most of the tasks listed below are well with-in the average home owners ability. But if you decide on hiring a professional to take care of them, it’s worth the expense. You will save time, money and perhaps even your life.

Fall Home Maintenance Check-List
  • Roof Inspection
  • Chimney
  • Gutters
  • Doors & Windows
  • Exterior Hoses
  • Driveways & Walkways
  • Air-Conditioning Maintenance
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Furnace Maintenance
  • Wood Burning Stove Maintenance
  • Smoke Detectors
  • General Clean Up
Roof Inspection

Make sure the roof is in good condition. Check for loose or missing tiles and for any cracks in the chimney. If you’ve been putting off the task replacing the shingles over the last few years, well now’s a good time to get them replaced. Hire a professional roofing contractor to patch up any gaps and replace shingles.

Chimney

Implementing a chimney maintenance plan is always critical for insuring the safety of your home and family. The function of a chimney is to carry dangerous fireplace, wood, oil or furnace and boiler gases safely out of your home.   Chimney fires are entirely preventable with proper care and cleaning. Inspect the exterior of the chimney for sings of damage. Have the flue inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.

Gutters

Check the gutter systems outside your home. Be mindful for any broken or leaking gutters, and repair them as soon possible. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. Clear out any leaves and other debris that tend to collect over the summer and fall seasons and have them covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning. Doing this will reduce the risks of leaks and blockages during freezing weather.

Doors and Windows

Fall is a great time to get out and  check the caulking around doors and windows. Proper caulking keeps moisture away and helps with drafts issues. Again caulking makes your home more efficient and helps prevent mold.

Drafts through your front doors don’t  seem as much of a problem in the summer months, but the truth is it can be.  If your weather strip allows a ¼” opening around a door, it’s like a hole in the wall that is 4” x 4”.  Drafts don’t seem as noticeable  the summer months  because the  air flows from cold to warm which is why it’s more noticeable in the winter season.

On that note,  the best course of action would be  replace the weather strip on your door. You can do this by going to your local building supply company and purchase a weather strip that is  similar to what is currently on your door.  If you don’t see one that is similar just buy a “universal” type and install it on the door frame.  Every little bit of money saved on the Electricity Bill is a good thing and you may be pleasantly surprised next summer when you notice a difference of savings  in your electricity  bill since your doors will seal better!

Exterior Hoses

Commonly Known as hose bibs or sill-cocks, the exterior faucet needs to have its water supply turned off inside the house, and you also need to drain water from it by opening up the exterior faucet. You may also want to consider an insulated cover for the hose bib. Your garden hoses should be disconnected from the sill cocks or outside faucets and drained if stored outside.

Driveway & Walkways

Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches.

Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths.

Most small jobs are well within the ability of a do-it-your self, but save major repairs for experienced hands.

Air-Conditioning Maintenance

Central Air conditioning systems : Take a hose with the spray head set to “jet” or the highest pressure you have and clean the fan blades and condensing coils of clear of debris and dirt. Left unprotected the condensing unit can be damaged by wet leaves and debris that contribute to rusting and freezing of internal components. Although these units are designed for outdoor use, covering them with a breathable waterproof cover made for that purpose will extending the life and efficient performance of the unit.

Outdoor Furniture

Any outdoor furniture and garden accessories, lighting, should be stored in a dry place such a shed or a garage. If you lack storage space and have the room, you may even use space in your basement to protect your items from the winter elements.

Furnace Maintenance

Fall is a perfect time to clean or replace your furnace filter. Reusable filters can be washed down and re installed. Disposable filters should be replaced with a new one. Dirty filters lower your HVAC system’s efficiency so it’s a good idea to change them accordingly.

Once a year, it’s a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall, before the heating season begins.

Here are signs that you should have an inspection performed sooner:

Noisy Belts– Unusual screeches or whines may be a signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.

Poor Performance– A heating system that doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did could be a sign of various problems. Your heating ducts might be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted, or the blower motor could be on its last legs. One check you should be sure to conduct: Make sure your furnace filter is clean.

Erratic Behaviour– This could be caused by a faulty thermostat or a misadjusted furnace.

Wood Burning Stove Maintenance

Wood burning stoves are a great way to add atmosphere and warmth to your home. But regular inspections are needed to ensure that these devices don’t become a safety hazard. Here’s how to check them.

 Cracks in stovepipes attached to wood stoves can release toxic fumes into your home. Throughout the heating season, you should check for corrosion, holes, or loose joints. Clean the stovepipe, and then look for signs of deterioration or looseness. Replace stovepipe if necessary.

 Smoke Detectors

Test your smoke alarm monthly and clean it every 6 months.  Mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget.  Things to remember when testing your smoke alarm:

  • Ensure that power is being transmitted to the alarm and that it will activate in the presence of smoke.
  • Test your smoke alarm by pressing the test button.
  • Even alarms with a pilot light that indicate power is being transmitted, should be tested regularly.
  • Battery-operated smoke alarms will warn you when batteries need replacing.   Despite this, make it a habit to change the batteries yearly.
  • When you’ve been away from home for a few days, check your alarm on your return to ensure it is working properly.
  • Remember, your smoke alarm can’t protect you if the batteries have been removed or a plug has been disconnected.
  • The lifespan of a typical smoke alarm is about 10 years, but some models last as little as 5 years.
  • To clean the alarm, open the cover and gently vacuum the interior of it.  Frequently, the alarm will sound while the unit is being cleaned.
General Clean Up

Rid your home of accumulations of old newspapers and leftover hazardous household chemicals. (Check with your local Municipal Hazardous Waste or Special Waste Agency about the proper way to discard dangerous chemicals.) Store flammable materials and poisons in approved, clearly labeled containers. Keep a clear space around heaters, furnaces, and other heat-producing appliances.

Have a question about your home improvement? Leave a comment below!

aframe sign photo shop flyer

See Also:

Don Of All Trades Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope Program

Helping Hands Buidling Trees Of Hope

Please donate to our Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope benefiting Herizon House

Every gift is a gift of hope. Your donations make a difference in the lives of women and children who are survivors of violence and abuse that are provided with a place of safety, support and hope at Herizon House women’s shelter.

You can help improve the lives of abused women and children in the  community. Please visit www.donofalltrades.ca community page to find out how you can make a difference.

Thanking Michelle Medeiros, Owner and Principal Designer of House Dreamer who made a contribution to our Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope Program.

hh-Michelle Medeiros

Senior Home Safety Check List

Home accidents are a major source of injuries and can even cause death. The elderly are especially vulnerable to serious injuries from home accidents. Older bones are often less dense, more brittle and break more easily. A simple fall can become a serious, disabling injury that limits independence.

The following Senior Home Safety Check List  will help you evaluate the safety of your home and habits. Go through your home and check off those items or behaviors that apply to you. If there are some items that you do not check, then your home is not as safe as it could be. By improving those items, you can make your home a safer and more comfortable place to live.

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Useful Senior Home Safety Check List  

 

Outdoors

  • Is there adequate lighting  at the entrances to your home?
  • Check to the conditions of  your outdoor stairs, pathways or decks having railings.
  • Are your front steps and walkways  in good repair and free of clutter, snow or leaves?
  • Do the doors ways of your balcony or  deck have a low sill or threshold?
  • Can you reach the mailbox easily and safely?
  • Is the number of your home clearly visible from the street and well-lit at night?

Tip:  If you live in a rural area where you do not have a visible house number, consider putting your name on your mailbox and keep at clear description of directions to your home next to each phone in your home.

 

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Indoors

  • Are all the rooms and hallways in your home well-lit?
  • Are all throw rugs and scatter mats secured in place to keep them from slipping?
  • Are your high traffic areas clear of clutter and obstacles (tops of stairs)?
  • If you use floor wax, do you use the non-skid kind?
  • Do you have a first aid kit and know where it is located in your home?
  • Do you have a list of emergency numbers next to all telephones in your home?

Tip: Have a seating structure installed at the entrance of your home in order to assist with the removal or putting on your shoes or boots.

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Stairways & Hallways

  • Are your stairs well-lit and do they have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs?
  • Are your stairs in  free from clutter and in good repair?
  • Do the steps have a non-skid surface?
  • Are there solid handrails installed to provide added support on both sides of the stairway?

Tip: Always remember to take your time going up and down the stairs. Never Rush. To assist in the prevention of a misstep, a strip of contrast colour can be added on the edge of each step.

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Fire &  Hazardous Materials

  • Are there  smoke alarms on every floor of the home?
  • Do you test your smoke alarms every six months?
  • Have you developed an escape route and safety  plan in case of a fire?
  • Is there a carbon monoxide detector in your home?
  • Are all  flammable and hazardous materials properly stored and clearly labelled?
  • Are there safety certified power bars being to prevent overloading electrical outlets?
  • If you live in an older home, have you or an electrician inspected your wiring, fuse box, electrical cords and appliances for safety?

Tip: Remember to check your smoke detectors twice a year.

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Bathrooms

  • Do you test the water temperature before you get into the bathtub or shower?
  • Is your hot water temperature set to recommended temperature?
  • Do you have non-slip surface products in the tub or shower?
  • Do bath mats next to the tub or shower have rubberized backing or are they secured in place to keep them from slipping?
  • Do you have a night-light set up in the bathroom?
  • Does your bathroom door lock equip with an emergency release?
  • Do you have grab bars that have been properly placed and well anchored to the wall in the bath tub or shower installed?
  • If  you any trouble getting on and off the toilet, do you have a raised toilet seat and a grab bar that is well anchored installed?
  •  If it is difficult for you to take a shower standing up, have you considered a bath seat?

TipSome tile and bathroom  cleaning products actually increase the slipperiness of a  surfaces. Always keep  this in mind when using such products.   

 

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Kitchen

  • Are your pots and pans, canned goods and staple foods stored in an easy to reach location-between knee and shoulder heights?
  • Are heavy items stored properly in the lower cupboards and light items in the higher cupboards?
  • Do you have s stable step stool (with a safety rail) for reaching high places?
  • Are the “off” and “on” positions on the  stove clearly marked?
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, mounted on the wall away from the stove that is available to use in case of an emergency?
  • Do you do regular checks to make sure your fire extinguisher is in good working order?

Tips: Use heat-resistant oven mitts as they provide a better grip on hot containers and give better protection against splatter and spills.

 

 

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Bedrooms

  • Is there a light switch installed  near the entrance to your bedroom?
  • Do you keep night lights or other sources of light on in case you get up in the middle of the night?
  • Do you have a lamp or a light switch installed near your bed?
  • Is there a clear path from your bed to the bathroom?
  • Do you have a phone and a list of emergency phone numbers located next to  your bed?

Tip: Install short bed rails to assist yourself when getting in and out of bed.

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Garages, Basements & Workrooms

  • Is your workroom and laundry room equipped with enough lighting?
  • Do you have a telephone in the basement and a list of emergency numbers?
  • Do you keep floors and benches clean to reduce fire and tripping hazards?
  • Are all your tools and services equipment in good condition including the safety locks in the “on” position?
  • Is your work area well ventilated, summer and winter?
  • Are heavy items on lower shelves or in bottom cupboards?
  • Do you use a ladder or a stable stool (with a safety rail) for reaching high places?
  • Are all chemicals, such as bleach, cleaners and paint thinners, clearly identified?
  • Are flammable materials stored as indicated by the directions on the label away from sources of heat and flame?
  • If you have a gas barbecue, is your propane tank stored outside of the house?

 

 If you are a senior or have a senior parent looking for  assistance in the Durham Region, please call our office at

905-259-5249 to speak with a professional home improvement specialist.  

 

 Click on our business card to find out more about our services today!

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