David Fortier

By David Fortier

September 7, 2021


13 Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Article revised on 7 September 2021

Are you aware of everything you need to check and do each fall to prep your home for the cold weather?

Here’s a checklist of what to check and do, both indoors and outdoors, to reduce the risk of damage and avoid having to file home insurance claims!

1. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

The arrival of cold weather means it’s time to turn the heat back on in our homes. And when the heaters are on, there is an increased risk of fire. This means it’s time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you have detectors installed near the bedrooms. Lastly, if the detectors are over 10 years old, it’s time to replace them.

2. Air vents

Remove lint or anything else that could obstruct the air vents for some of your appliances like the dryer, stove range hood, ventilators and air exchangers.

3. Water hoses

Close the indoor valve if you have one. Drain the external tap and store the hoses to prevent water from freezing in the pipes.

4. Chimney

Have the chimney swept by specialists and ask them to check the condition of the bricks, anchors and cap. Find out what precautions to take for reducing risks related to wood heating

5. Basement windows

Ensure that the window joint sealings are in good condition.

6. Foundations

Carefully examine the foundation to detect any cracks and if you spot any, have them repaired quickly by a specialist to prevent water infiltration.

7. Gutters

When the leaves from trees close to your house have fallen, clear the gutters and downspouts of debris. Ensure that the gutters and downspouts are well-installed to avoid leakage. Check that water is diverted at least 1.5 metres from the foundation to prevent water damage.

8. Heat pump

Clear all debris or vegetation that may interfere with its air supply or prevent it from operating properly.

9. Roof

Carefully inspect the roof and replace any shingles, vents and joint sealings that are no longer in good condition.

10. Stairs, balconies and patios

Ensure that stairs, balconies and patios have handrails or banisters that comply with the building code in your area. This way a misstep won’t result in a fall causing serious injuries. Contact your municipality or visit its website to find out what standards are applicable.

11. Sidewalks and parking spots

Reduce the risk of falls by checking the condition of your parking spots, sidewalks and patios. If they are sunken or damaged, have them repaired. Also put a bin of slip-resistant sand or pellets near the entrance door.

12. Snow removal

If you use professional snow removers, install locators or make sure they mark all low walls or other obstacles around your entrance to prevent damage.

13. Use caution with extension cords!

If you use extension cords inside or outside the home for appliances such as the pool timer, auxiliary heating units, tools, etc., ensure that they are in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If not, make corrections in the spring when you re-install your appliances.

Using an extension cord for several appliances at a time is strongly discouraged. Read the user’s guide for each appliance for any advisories. If there are no contraindications, ensure the extension cords are not too old or damaged and that they are certified and can carry adequate voltage.


And there you have it! If you take this advice, you’ll be ready to tackle winter with peace of mind!

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