How to prevent home damage this fall

Small fall prevention guide

Ah, fall! The changing leaves and smell of firewood are signs that winter is just around the corner! Before the first snowflakes fall, it is important to prepare your home appropriately to minimize the risk of fall disasters.

Follow us in this step-by-step guide to help you prepare your home for the upcoming season.

Because prevention is key!

Indoors

1. AIR EXCHANGER

Clean your air exchanger filters.

Air exchangers mainly operate in winter, and it is very important to clean the filters every two or three months. The heat or energy recovery core made of polypropylene (plastic) or aluminum should be cleaned once a year, preferably in the fall, before the heating season.

2. WINDOWS AND WINDOW WELLS

It is better to remove screens during the winter and store them in a dry, temperature-controlled environment.

A screen in front of a window will block heat, resulting in condensation and mold.

Replace any damaged caulking along the edges of basement doors and windows.

Outdoors

3. DOWNSPOUTS

Downspouts should be disconnected from drainpipes and extensions that draw water away from the foundation so they won't freeze and back up. Don't forget to reconnect them in the spring!

4. ROOF

Prevent ice dams from forming at the edge of the roof.

Heat escaping from inside the building melts snow on the roof. The water then runs to the edge of the roof where it freezes. When ice builds up, it prevents water from draining off the roof. Then, through capillary action, the water is drawn up under the shingles causing major damage. Here is how to prevent this:

  • Install a leaf guard/ice guard to prevent debris from blocking the gutters and downspouts. Gutters must be clear so the water can flow freely.
  • Check the insulation in the space under the roof and add more in places where there isn't enough or where it is too compressed.
  • Check the air circulation in the space under the roof. The air intakes in the soffits have to be clear for the roof ventilators to draw air through the soffits. A well-ventilated roof will prevent snow from melting.

Check the shingles regularly and replace them as soon as they show signs of wear (raised or tattered corners) or if there are poorly drained areas on a flat roof.

5. TREES

Plant trees a minimum of five meters from the house.

Trees planted too close to a house can damage the foundation and block French drains.

6. GUTTERS

Clear dead leaves and other debris from gutters at least once a year.

7. FOUNDATION

Check your foundation for cracks and fissures. Patch any fissures in the foundation walls or brick facing.

8. WATER LINES

If your outdoor faucet is not frost-free (4-season), you have to shut the water off from the inside and drain the outdoor faucet to get all the water out.

The water in the part of the faucet extending outside the house can freeze and cause the pipes to burst.

Do your water pipes pass through your cellar, crawl space, or an exterior wall? If the water in a pipe freezes, it could create enough pressure to burst.

Place an insulating sheath over any water pipes that are exposed to cold.

9. EXTERIOR BASEMENT ENTRANCE

Check and clear the drain in the basement entrance.

A blocked or poorly cleared drain can increase the risk of water seeping in through the edges of the basement entrance door.