Fall

Fall Leaves Solid State Home Inspections

Fall is time to get your home ready for the winter ahead and is the busiest of the maintenance seasons. Winter can bring violent weather and long power outages which you need to have your home ready for. Regular home maintenance is necessary to avoid major unexpected costs. Maintenance left undone can be a major detriment to a homes value in the future and creates a lot of red flags in a Home Inspection.


This maintenance list is not exhaustive or tailored to your home but is a good place to help you get started on maintaining your home:


  • A Special note about Strata’s
    • If you are in a strata, many common exterior maintenance items are covered by your strata fees. We have highlighted common items covered by strata management with a “


Heating and Air Systems

  • Forced air furnaces and all fireplaces (wood or gas) should be checked annually before the heating season by a professional
    • The pilot light may need to be re-lit if it was shut off for the season
  • Boiler/hot water heating systems may need to be started up again for the season and should have annual maintenance performed by a professional ✪
  • Switch off the main power to your central air conditioning and follow manufacturer specifications for winterizing (e.g. put the cover on)
  • Vacuum off any radiators or baseboard heaters (you may notice a burning smell when they are first started for the season)
  • Vacuum forced air heating grills and if they are easily removable vacuum inside to remove easily accessible dust
  • Test your heating system, using the thermostat, to ensure everything works as expected
  • Ensure your humidifier is in working order and responds to controls from your humidistat
  • If you have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), check controls, run a cup of water down the condensate drain to ensure your traps are primed, and change the filter every 2 months during the operational season.


Plumbing

  • Winterize your outside hose bibs/taps. Disconnect hoses and put them away for the winter
  • Protect piping in unheated spaces with insulation or electric heating wire (plug back in if unplugged for the warmer seasons)
  • If you have a sump-pump, test to ensure it works correctly and there are no leaks. ✪


Windows, Doors, and Outdoors

  • Ensure weather stripping around exterior doors is in good condition and repair as necessary to seal your home from drafts
  • Remove any in-window air conditioners and ensure windows close tightly
  • Ensure the man-door from your house to your garage closes tightly so car exhaust cannot come into your home
  • Check skylights to make sure they are closed for the season
  • Clean leaves and debris from your gutters and downspouts and ensure the downspouts discharge correctly. For above ground downspouts, they should discharges at least 6 feet from your building ✪
  • Put away your lawn furniture, tools, and fountains to protect them from wind and rain
  • Use caulking on exterior door and window trim to ensure air and water won’t penetrate into your building walls


Regular Maintenance

These areas of your home should be checked as frequently as possible regardless of the season.


  • Ensure you have fire extinguishers charged and in proximity to the kitchen 
  • Regularly check stair handrails and all guardrails to ensure they are secure and can hold an adult’s bodyweight in a fall
  • Test your smoke detectors and replace batteries as needed
  • Test your ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)’s on your breaker panel or at each outlet to ensure they trip correctly when the test button is pressed.
  • Ensure all your home’s air intakes and exhausts (e.g. dryer vents, furnace air intakes) are not blocked ✪
  • Check and clean the filters in your range hood and ensure the vents are not blocked
  • Replace your furnace filter every 6-8 weeks during heating season and during cooling season if you have central A/C or a heat pump
  • For hot water or steam heating systems, check your expansion tank to ensure it has not become water logged
  • During or after any prolonged rain period, check to ensure drains and weather seals are keeping or draining water as needed to protect your home ✪
  • Monitor caulking in kitchen and baths and maintain as needed


If you have any concerns about maintaining your home for fall, consider calling in your local home inspector to help you learn about your home and regular maintenance.


By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.