Preventative maintenance cheaper than repairs

It is time to get your home prepped for fall and winter. Finishing up the last remaining maintenance projects and tending to the yard and gardens is something we all are accustomed to doing. But let’s look at a few items that are just as important, and can easily be overlooked.

Window and doors, if not properly working, can allow for unwanted cooler air to find it’s way inside. Check your caulking and weather stripping. You can check door seals by closing your door on a piece of paper. If you easily can slide the paper back and forth, you may want to change the weather stripping.

Clean windows can help maximize light into the house.

Change out your traditional incandescent light bulbs to an energy efficient bulb to have increased light and save some money at the same time.

Safety proof your home by changing batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors. Also look at the expiry date on those detectors as most have a lifespan of eight to 10 years. Ensure your family reviews a fire escape plan, or create one if you don’t have it.

Driveway and sidewalk cracks are best repaired before the deep freeze of winter arrives. If water penetrates these cracks and freezes, in the spring when it thaws, you will find those cracks have grown due to the expansion of the water getting in.

When’s the last time you looked into your attic to check your insulation? Blown in insulation should be evenly distributed throughout the attic in order to keep heat inside and have lower energy bills. Top up or add insulation as needed.

Change your furnace filter. This is one item that should not be missed. By replacing the filter every three months, you keep the air in your home cleaner and extend the life of your furnace. Fall also is a good time to get your yearly inspection done on your furnace.

Drain outside faucets and hose bibs. Shut off those pipes from inside the house and then open the taps to make sure the lines are fully drained.

Test your sump pump to make sure it’s operating well. Sometimes seals dry out and you don’t want to wait until a big rain to find out the pump isn’t working. Test your pump by filling the pit with water until the float rises up and the pump turns on. If you find the pump isn’t turning on, check that the unit is securely plugged in, that there isn’t any debris preventing the float from rising, or have a plumber check it out.

Preventative maintenance always pays off.

Sue Wastell is the President of the London Home Builders’ Association and Owner of Wastell Homes in London.

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