Fall Home Maintenance Tips
Serge Bourgoin: Hi, everyone, it's Serge here again from FindMyHouse.ca and eXp Realty. And I'm here with Curtis Albert from A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections. As you can see, I got a pile of leaves here in front of us and that's a sure sign that falls here and winter is coming. And so Curtis, there's a lot of things that people should do in the fall in preparation for winter in their home, shouldn't they?
Curtis Albert: Absolutely. There's a few different items you want to take a look at, either inside your home as well as the exterior. For the inside, you definitely want to take a look at your furnace filter. It's a good time to change that out. That should be done at least semi-annually. This is a great time to have a go at that. Same as your humidifier. Open that up, take a look at the filter on there as well. That's a good time to either clean it or replace it. Something else you want to take peak at, again, it's a semi-annual maintenance item, it would be your sump pump. Open the hatch up, make sure you can access everything. Lift the float, make sure the sump pump is working. And if you do use the hose on the exterior of the home, make sure it's detached so it doesn't freeze up on you.
Serge Bourgoin: So you want to just connect that in the wintertime?
Curtis Albert: That's correct. It's nice to have that hose on and get the water flowing away from the home in the summertime. But when you have the potential of that hose freezing up, it has to be disconnected for the winter.
Serge Bourgoin: Okay. You were also talking about a backwater check valve?
Curtis Albert: Yeah. A lot of homes end up covering these check valves over, but if you do have access, it's really nice. Again, semi-annually, go in there, open that up. It's just a little flap valve. It allows your discharge water to flow out away from the home and not come back in if we have storms like you're seeing down south.
Serge Bourgoin: Okay. Wonderful. All right, well, we're going to cut away here for a second and we're going to go around this house pointing out some items that you should be looking out for. So get ready. Here we go. Well, Curtis, what's next?
Curtis Albert: Well, it's a little bit earlier in the season right now. We still have a lot of leaves on the trees, but once you've noticed that most of the leaves have fallen, it's a great plan to clean your gutters. Ideally, you're going to go up there and be able to scoop them out, but in many cases people don't want to do that. It is a bit of a danger being up on the ladder. This is a kind of nice workaround. You can attach this unit to your garden hose. Get up here. It's angled. You can run the water, clean the gutters, make sure you have flow right through to the downspout, and there's water coming down your downspout so you know it's flowing properly. Simple item, it can be picked up at Canadian Tire or any hardware store.
Serge Bourgoin: And you said it was relatively inexpensive?
Curtis Albert: Yeah, they're 20, $30.
Serge Bourgoin: Awesome. All right, well, let's follow and continue around the house and see what else we can find. We see a central air conditioning unit. What can you tell us about preparation for that in the wintertime?
Curtis Albert: This is an excellent time to clean the unit up itself. You can see all the fuzz that's collected, poplar fuzz, dandelion, whatnot, throughout the season. We can either take an air hose, clean it out, or a simple garden hose, wash all this stuff out. If you have a cover for the AC unit, it's a good time to apply it. And something else I would recommend is disconnecting the power. Your AC unit should not be run below 15 degrees Celsius. Avoid any mistakes. Simply kill the power to the AC for the winter.
Serge Bourgoin: So usually there's either a power box outside with a breaker or there should be a breaker in the breaker room of a house?
Curtis Albert: Yeah. In many cases, you're going to have power points, disconnect points at both locations. That's correct.
Serge Bourgoin: Okay. All right. Well, let's continue round this house and see what else we should be looking at.
Curtis Albert: Now also, you should take a look at, make sure that they're all free flow. Make sure the flaps working correctly. If there is a screen, ensure that they're cleared out so you do have proper airflow coming out of the home for your exhaust systems.
Serge Bourgoin: All right. Well, here we're at a house that has frost-free bibs, but the hose is connected. What should we do?
Curtis Albert: Okay. On most of the newer homes, you're going to see the frost-free hose bibs. People think they're great. You don't have to worry about them for the winter. They're not going to freeze up. When you leave a hose connected like this, it does not allow the bib to do its job and drain properly. It can freeze, crack, cause you all kinds of issues. Ensure that the hose is disconnected before we get into the freezing winter.
Serge Bourgoin: Disconnect your hoses even though you have a frost-free bib, that's a good plan. You don't want to flood a basement this winter.
Curtis Albert: Okay, we're going to take a look at the window wells next. It's a good time to make sure that they're cleaned out. There's no debris being stored in here, not using it as a storage location. This window well actually looks in really nice shape. We're six eight inches below the window is where you're seeing the base of the well. You can see the weeping tile drain. Everything's in good shape. It's allowing for a little bit of ice build up in here and you won't have any issues with water coming in through your windows. This fella looks really good. Just make sure you keep them clear of debris.
Okay, we're looking at a couple other items here right now. We're taking a look at any of the openings into the home. They're properly sealed up. That all looks good. Your leader coming off of your downspout is attached. It's draining away from the home. Excellent. Our grading, we have a nice positive slope away from the home. Again, this is a very good thing. Here's your sump discharge, your ABS. Currently, they have a leader sitting on there. In the winter, you can simply take it off. It's going to discharge right there, but you're not typically going to have a lot of water coming out. Everything looks excellent over on this side of the home, guys. It's what you want your home to look like.
Serge Bourgoin: Hey, Curtis, I want to thank you very much for this quick walkthrough around the home here today to show us some items. What we've done for you folks is in the link below, you'll see there's a link with a complete article and the full checklist of things you need to be checking out. All right? So this also we'll have Curtis' information, whenever you need to contact Curtis for a home inspection. He's there to help, he's one of the best in the business. And of course we'd love you to like and prescribe to our channel for more tips like this. And of course to see new listings and real estate. Hope you have all a great day. Take care.
Curtis Albert: Thanks for having us over here, Serge. You guys have any questions in regards to your own home, feel free to give us a call. I can be reach at 780-974-7542.
Serge Bourgoin: Perfect. All right. Ciao, everybody.
Curtis Albert: Thank you.
For the full checklist visit: Curtis at a Buyer's Choice Home Inspections