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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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Cleaning and Restoring a Weathered Deck-Don of All Trades

This weathered deck got a transformation into a beautiful and inviting living space again with some advanced preparation, repair work and an application of good quality deck stain to block the sun’s harmful rays and to protect the wood. Completing this deck with a professional finish. For this project we used a solid stain to hide any mismatching boards and  any imperfections.

Clean & Restore a Weathered Deck-Don Of All Trades
Cleaning and staining a weathered deck extends its life.

Preparing and Cleaning the Deck

 

Step 1

Our team at Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services started off this project by removing all furniture, plants and grills. The deck was swept clean and surrounding plants and shrubs located around the perimeter were covered with plastic.

Step 2

An inspection of the condition of the deck was done looking for any loose, split, popping nails and rotting boards  to be replaced. For areas with splintering, 80 grit sandpaper would be used to sand any rough areas of the wood.

Step 3

A power washer was used to help remove any loose flaking stain, dirt and debris.

Step 4

We visited our local Whitby Shores Benjamin Moore Store and purchased the Benjamin Moore REMOVE (315) wood cleaner and followed the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct cleaner to water ratio. REMOVE was sprayed onto the entire deck. The deck was scrubbed  with a long-handled scrub brush to loosen the dirt, grime debris mold and mildew. We then rinsed off the deck.

Cleaning & Restoring a Weathered Deck-Don Of All Trades

Product Features Include:

-Removes both latex and oil stains

-Fast acting formula

-Removes clear finishes through SOLID COLOUR STAINS

-Concentrated Formula

-Clean up soap  and water

-Recommended Exterior

 Step 5

The second phase of  preparing this deck was applying  another product called Benjamin Moore Restore.  This product helps to restore old weathered wood. It’s a bleach flee formula and is gentle to wood and the environment. Restore also helps bring back the natural grain in the wood and helps the wood accept the new stain.  Restore  was sprayed onto the entire deck. The deck was scrubbed  with a long-handled scrub brush to loosen the dirt, grime debris mold and mildew. We then rinsed off the deck. We allowed some time for the deck to dry out before the staining process.

Good To Know:

Be prepared to spend most of your  day completing this process depending on the size of your deck. This deck was approximately 350 square feet and this project took  approximately 9 hours to complete.

 

cleaning

Product Features Include:

-Restores old weathered wood

-Bleach-Free formula is gentle to wood and environment

-Not intended for removing old finishes. Use Benjamin Moore REMOVE Finish Remover (315) to remove old finishes

-For restoring severely weathered wood

-Ideal for removing moderate to severe mold and mildew

-Concentrated formula

-Clean up- soap and water

-Recommended-Exterior

 

Visit our website at http://www.donofalltrades.ca to find out more information about or services or to book a complimentary in-home estimate today!

Applying the Stain

Good To Know

If you have near by  plants and shrubs around your deck, Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services recommends to cover  them with plastic in order to protect them from any splattering or dripping stain.  Once the staining is completed, remove the plastic from the plants and shrubs.

Cleaning and Restoring a Weathered Deck-Don Of All Trades

 Our client’s choice of stain to be applied on this deck was the Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Exterior Stain Brand Natural Cedar Tone Solid Stain.  Solid stain was used for this rather than the semi-solid due to the fact that this deck had been stained 3 times in the past with a solid stain.  2 Gallons were used to complete this 1 coat project.  Recommended curing time: Let the stain cure for at-least 1 week but light traffic only after 2 days.

Our experience applying the Arborcoat Exterior Waterborne Exterior Stain was that this product had a much better finish on the floor planks, the tack  up time was nice with a quick flash drying time and laid down very nicely. The end results were fantastic and our clients was extremely pleased at the results.

So what is the difference between  Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solids and Solid Stains?

Semi-Transparent— Lightly pigmented, these stains impart more color the surface than wood toner stains, while still letting the wood grain to be seen.

Semi-Solids—Semi-solid/semi-opaque finish masks most of the wood grain, but allows some of the wood texture to be seen.

Solids— Choose these stains if you want a rich, vibrant opaque finish that completely hides the wood grain while allowing very little of the wood texture to show through.

 

More Handy Tips:
  • Deck cleaner solution and deck restore products are very corrosive and be mindful of any splashes against your home as it may cause damage including to  any surrounding plants. Would recommend doing this project in the early spring, before the plants come up.
  • Avoid staining the deck in direct sunlight. The stain will dry too quickly and the decking boards will not have time to absorb the stain.
  • Use a long-handled scrub brush to help scrub the deck with solution.
  • Pay close attention to the weather for the week.
  • Wear safety glasses, rubber gloves, close-toed shoes and protective clothing.
  • Stir the stain thoroughly. Avoid shaking the container because bubbles will develop and it will be hard to get a smooth finish. Pour the stain into a paint tray.

 

Question about your deck project? Get in touch with us!

Click On Our Logo Below To Find Out More About Our Services

Don of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

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We have new 2016 Helping Hands additions for the month of April to go on our second Tree of Hope!

 

 

Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope-Don Of All Trades

 

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

You can help the lives of abused women and children in your community.

Please visit donofalltrades.ca Community Page to find more information on how you can give the gift of hope.

 

Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance ServicesDon of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services is so much more than a great improvement company. We’re helping people live better. Once customer at a time.

We’re Giving Back to the Community in a BIG WAY!

 

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

Flag Stone Step Repair

Photos by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

Flagstone steps, walkways and patios need occasional maintenance and repair, usually to renew the mortar between the stones or in the case of stones laid without mortar, to level those that have tilted or sunk.

The work is not complicated, but it can be strenuous if moving stones is required.

Areas of cracked mortar between flagstones should be repaired. (Individual cracks, unless they are several inches long, can usually be left alone.)

Moisture seeping into cracks and repeatedly freezing and thawing will eventually cause further cracking, and weeds sprouting in the fissures can do the same thing.

Below are  before and after photos of a recent project our team at Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services completed.

 

Flag Stone Step Repair
Photos by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

 

Flag Stone Step Repair
Photos by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

 

Flag Stone Step Repair
Photos by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services
Flag Stone Step Repair
Photos by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

 

To find out more about our services, please visit www.donofalltrades.ca.

 

Home Repairs
Click here to view more outdoor projects.
Helping Hands- Buidling Trees Of Hope
Please Help Us Build Trees Of Hope-Click here to find out more.

 

Related Blogs On Out Door Projects
Have a question or need some assistance with your home improvement project? Get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or call us at 905-259-5249.

To find out more about our services, please visit www.donofalltrades.ca.

Connect  With Us

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LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/donofalltrades

Welcome Spring-Exterior Home Maintenance Tips

 

 

As we say good bye to this past winter’s bitter cold that seemed like it would never end, nothing motivates homeowners more like sunny days and warmer weather.

Get a head start and welcome Spring with these great exterior home maintenance tips by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services.

chimney_20070410_0110

 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

 Downspouts  and Gutters

Routine gutter and downspout maintenance can save a homeowner on repair costs. Get prepared before the Spring Rains begin.  You will be amazed at how much debris has collected over such a short time. Clean out any leaves and tree branches that could cause an issue. Often, clogging occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. This can be easily inspected by taking it off and looking for any debris that can cause it to clog.

 unnamed

Garden Hoses

An inspection of the outside hose faucets checking for any  signs of leaks is important, especially in colder climates where hoses have been left on the hose bib over the winter.  If the water supply pipe has frozen, the pipe can expand and crack. This pipe will leak and should be replaced a soon as possible by a certified plumber before costly water damage occurs.

caulking

Caulking

Spring 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.

 

Cracked-Concrete

Walkways

Snow and cold can wreak havoc on your walkway. Take advantage of the warmer weather approaching to patch cracks and replace any loose bricks and pavers. Power washers are a great tool to clean out that embedded dirt, grime and stains in asphalt, concrete or stone.

aircond

Air-conditioning Units

Hire a qualified heating and cooling contractor to clean and service the outside unit of the air-conditioning system.  An annual maintenance service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels and work more efficiently.

Don

Mr. Don D’Orazio,  President/CEO Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

Summary  By being pro active and executing home maintenance procedures inside and out once Spring comes around, you’ll be able to enjoy more outdoor activities with friends and family member this summer. Enjoy peace of mind by getting a head of the game before costly and timely repairs become an issue.

Do you take the time to prepare your house properly for spring?

Did we miss an important tip? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

If you live in Durham Region and are looking for a Home Improvement Service that can assist you will All of your Home Repairs at Affordable Rates, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you! Book a Complimentary Consultation or visit our website at www.donofalltrades.ca to find out more about our services.

10% discount card

 “Helping families get back to the important things in life!”     

Spring Special Savings Event going on  Right Now!  Save 10%

off your next home improvement project with Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services. Call to find out more.

 

 

Identifiying The Risk Factors And Making Home Safer For Seniors

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Identifying The Risk Factors  And Making Homes  Safer for Seniorscritical steps in reducing falls and fall-related injuries to seniors at home.

 

 

Did You Know?

Seniors injuries due to falls remain the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among Canadian seniors, and between 20% and 30% of seniors fall each year.

Facts:

  • 1 in 3 seniors will experience a fall each year, and half of those more than one.
  • 40% of seniors’ falls result in hip fractures.
  • 20%  of injury related-deaths among seniors can be traced back to a fall.
  • Seniors are injured AT HOME more than any other location. The bathroom and stairs are particularly dangerous.

 

Falls and associated end results not only  harm the injured individuals but also affect family, friends, care providers and the health care system.

Most falls occur as a result of compounding factors that combine and overwhelm an older person’s ability to maintain or regain his or her balance.

Research has identified numerous conditions that differentiate between older persons who fall and those who do not fall.

 

Each older person may face a unique combination of risk factors based on life circumstances, health status, health behaviours, economic situation, social supports and the environment. Understanding what puts a person at risk of falling is a critical step in reducing falls and fall-related injuries among older Canadians.

 

Factors in the living environment:

Home hazards that have been demonstrated to increase the risk of falling for older people include throw rugs and loose, worn or deep pile carpets; electrical cords in walkways; raised door sills; cluttered floors; poor lighting; slippery floors; poorly designed tubs, toilets and fixtures in the bathroom; no aids or poorly installed aids such as grab bars or hand rails; and pets that get under foot.

 

What Can I Do To Lower My Risk Of Falling At Home?

You can prevent falls by identifying the hazards and making the needed adjustment’s to your home and lifestyle, and by making sure you eat well, stay fit, and use whatever devices will facilitate your daily life while keeping you safe.

 

Safety

  • Fire escape routes in the home must be kept clear and accessible at all times.
  • Smoke alarms on every floor and outside every bedroom are absolutely necessary. Check the batteries in the alarms regularly.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector that sounds an alarm.
  • Seniors who are deaf or hard of hearing should consider purchasing flashing or vibrating smoke alarms.
  • Areas including stairways, porches and outside walkways should always be kept well-lit.

 

Escape Plan

Family members should update planned fire escape routes plans with seniors   current capabilities in mind, and practice with them. Make sure there are two ways out of each room. Keep hallways and stairs uncluttered. Instruct seniors to call 911 from a neighbor’s house, and not to go back inside their home. If they cannot leave on their own, they should still dial 911. Place a telephone beside the bed, as well as slippers, house keys, eyeglasses and a flashlight.

 

Removing Hazards Around The Home

A senior who may experience problems with balance, walking or have poor eyesight needs to make sure to examine their homes to identify potential hazards. Look to remove or repair items that may cause tripping, such as:

 

 

Bathroom

  • Ensure that you have non-slip surfaces in the tub and shower.
  • Install grab bars by the toilet and bath to help you sit and stand. Make sure they are well anchored.
  • Use a raised toilet seat, and a bath seat in the shower, if you need them.
  • Wipe up moisture or spills immediately.
  • Use a long-handled brush or mittens with straps to help with bathing.
  • Install night lights in hallways and bathrooms.

Kitchen

  • Store household items on lower shelves so that you can easily reach them.
  • Store heavy items in lower cupboards
  • If you have to climb for something, use a step stool with handrails
  • Always wipe up any spills immediately to prevent slipping.
  • Consider using non-skid floor products such as a non-skid floor wax.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.
  • Use a reaching device that you can buy at a medical supply store so you do not need to climb for an item.
  • Replace appliances that are broken or not working properly.
  • Install lighting in areas where sharp tools are used on a regular basis.
  • Do not try to carry too many things at the same time.
  • Have a place near your door where you can place packages and groceries while you close the door and get ready to put items away.

Living Room

  • Keep all areas of the home free from clutter.
  • Get rid of loose wires and cords as well as any other potentially hazardous items that  could potentially cause injury.
  • Dispose of  any loose rugs or scatter mats and replace with one’s that are designed to be non slip.
  • Repairing of  loose carpeting and areas of raised flooring.
  • Check the conditions of stairways and railings and replace with sturdy handrails  accordingly.
  • Consider purchasing a cordless phone or if you have trouble seeing, purchase a phone with larger numbers from a medical supply store.
  • Cover sharp corners on  tables or counter tops in order to avoid serious injuries in the event of a fall.
  • Move of any  furniture and electrical cords out of walking pathways
  • Have good lighting installed throughout the house and install night lights.
  • Always wipe up any spills immediately to prevent slipping.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.

Stairs

  •  Always make sure that your stairs are well-lit.
  • Check the conditions of stairways and railings and replace with sturdy handrails  accordingly
  • Have solid handrails on both sides of the stairway.
  • Remove any objects or clutter on the stairs!
  • Never rush up or down the  stairs. It’s a major cause for falls.
  • Do not try to carry too many things at the same time.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.

Exterior

  • Keep front Steps and walkways in good repair and free of snow, ice and leaves.
  • Keep the front entrance well-lit.
  • Put gardening tools such as hoses and rakes away when not using them.
  • Always ask for assistance with tasks you feel you cannot  do safely.

 

Staying fall-free can help you to stay independent  and avoid the need to enter a long-term care facility. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. Falls usually happen due to the combined effects of factors that can be prevented.

 

On a positive note, many changes are easy to make and inexpensive. Changes can be simple, such as removing rugs. More complicated home modifications may require help of a professional, but there is government and non-profit groups available to help seniors. Some of these services, moreover, may be free of charge or low-cost.

Click on our business card to find out more!

 dan1

 

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