Your Fall/Winter Checklist

It’s not only Santa Claus who has a checklist this time of year…you do too. 

As the seasons change from summer to fall, a number of things should be looked at in and around your home to make sure you don’t end up with some aweful surprises.

Extreme weather conditions are not common here in the Lower Mainland of BC, but on occassion we get some duzzy storms & heavy snow falls which can wreak havoc on loose & leaf filled gutters, peeling deck surfaces, exterior wood stairs & drain systems.

The first and most obvious check is the gutters.  Now that 90% of the leaves have fallen it’s a good time to have your gutters checked out and make sure they are draining rain water properly and not clogged up with fall leaves & branches.   While your up there (or the person you hired is up there), check to make sure your gutters are still firmly attached to your fascia boards (if you don’t have built-in gutters).  Also have the downspouts checked out to make sure they are draining properly and are securely attached to your gutter system. 

Next, since your already up on a ladder, have a good look at the roof.  If you see any lifting shingles or broken tiles, have a closer look at the damage to note if repairs are in order.  If there is a lot of seasonal debris laying on you roof, get it hosed or blown off now so this debris doesn’t:

a.  come rolling down on top of your mother-in-law’s head when she leaves after Sunday dinner

b. reclog the drains you already flushed out when the wind kicks up again

If you are looking for something to punish the kids with, how about sending them outside to prune back the branches of low growing shrubs & to rake up any leaves, needles, pine cones or branches?  Make a batch of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, pull up a lawn chair and listen to them mumble to themsleves.

While outside, check around the perimeter of your home’s foundation for pooling water or signs of water saturation.  To prevent hydrostatic pressure, make sure any excess water is draining away from your house foundation, so that you are not putting any extra surface water into your drain tile.  Nobody wants the nasty surprise of a flooded basement in the spring, a pain in the neck insurance claim and a lot of I told you so’s from your Father-in-law after Sunday dinner.

Speaking of water, detatch your outside hoses & shut off the hose bibs.  Make sure they are drained so as not to risk that freezing temperatures burst your pipes.  If you have an inground sprinkler system, have them drained out as well.

If you are not using your outdoor hottub in winter, turn it off & either drain the tub & pipes, or leave it on with setting the temperature to low so the water keeps circulating.

The age old expression “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true.  Insurance does not cover property damage which occurred due to negligence, so the ownus is on you to take preventative measures to protect your investmet.

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