Tag Archives: weather stripping

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

Advertisements

Replacing Worn Weather Stripping Around Doors

drafty doors

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!


Lift the door by the doorknob. If it appears to moves upwards easily  then tighten the screws of the top door hinge. If the door is so worn that the hinge screws no longer bite, remove the screws, glue wooden plugs into the holes, and drive the screws back into place.

Run your hand around the perimeter of the door when it’s closed. If you feel a draft  then the weather-stripping has likely cracked or warped and needs replacement. If there is no weather-stripping, you’ll need to add some.

To replace it, open the door and slide out the old weather-stripping. Purchase a replacement kit with vinyl or foam that matches the existing weather stripping and slide new weather-stripping into the grooves in the door or the surrounding frame.

This may be difficult but try to  find new weather-stripping that exactly matches in profile. Try to identify the door manufacturer or vendor by checking the door and frame for a label, and contact either to see if they can provide replacement stripping. Alternatively, you can find replacement weather strip products at your local home improvement center.

If you have an old door without weather-stripping, or a door that you can’t find matching weather-stripping for, you can add or replace it using a weather-stripping kit that’s readily available at most home centers.

These kits include various types of weather-stripping, including bronze, wood or metal flanges wrapped with foam, and metal flanges lined with vinyl or silicone bulbs. The kits contain two side strips, a top strip, and fasteners. Consult with the store experts before choosing. They may refer you to a catalog to order the type that you’ll need.

Once  you’ve purchased the appropriate kit, close the door and measure the top of the exterior frame from side to side. Measure and mark the length on the short section of the weather stripping and cut the foam or vinyl part of the strip with a utility knife or scissors and the metal or wood with a hacksaw.

Starting at the top, place the stripping along the exterior of the door against the jamb with the foam or vinyl against the door, compressing slightly but not too much or the door won’t latch when you close it. Then nail or screw in place, positioning the nails or screws about 2 inches in from each end (to avoid splitting), and spacing the others about 12 inches apart.



Measure and cut the side strips with coped cuts (where one piece is cut square and the other piece is cut to fit over it) at one end of each to make a clean, tight joint at the top. Use a scrap to trace the line. Cut the foam with a scissors, and cut the metal or wood section of the profile with a coping saw. Make the coped cut first, leaving extra length for the bottom cut. Then cut the bottoms. File or sand the cuts for a smooth fit.

Make sure that the weather-stripping fits snugly all around and that the door shuts and latches easily before you drive the nails in. For small adjustments, pull the nails and start them in a new spot. If you’re using metal weather-stripping, loosen the screws to adjust. If you use a wooden flange, paint or stain it to match the door.

You’ll also want to add a door sweep if possible. To determine if you need one, close the door and look for light coming through or feel for a draft. If you see a lot of light or feel a draft, install a new door sweep. If you see light or feel a draft, you should add a sweep. If the floor or carpet is even with or higher than your threshold, you can’t add a sweep.


If you can add a sweep, consider an easy-to-install face-mount door sweep with a flexible vinyl flap. Measure the width of the door from inside and mark the length on the sweep and cut it, using a scissors or utility knife for the vinyl and a hacksaw for the metal part. Hold the sweep in place allowing the flexible portion to lightly touch the threshold. Mark the screw positions, drill pilot holes with a 3/32-inch drill bit, and then screw in place onto the inside face of the door.

For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade

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