As the leaves turn their brilliant kaleidoscope of fall colours, we’re enjoying crisp autumn evenings, crackling fireplaces, and reminders that our slick summer tires are no match for what the Sea to Sky Highway dishes out in the coming months (HINT: get those snow tires on!). With the onset of winter in the Sea to Sky Corridor, the excitement builds for snow sports and outdoor activities as the white line creeps down our mountainsides. The annual Whistler/Blackcomb Turkey Sale helped get us gear ready, but are our homes ready for winter? Here’s some helpful FALL HOME MAINTENANCE suggestions to prepare for the upcoming winter months to avoid costly damage to your biggest investment, brought to you by www.simonhudson.ca.
When it’s chilly in Squamish, everyone dons a toque; the same thinking should apply to your home. Adding attic insulation is the easiest way to boost your home’s cozy factor. Buy bags of fiberglass or mineral wool insulation and fit the batts snugly on top of what’s already in place, ensuring there are no air gaps and not covering the eaves vents. Be sure to wear a mask, goggles, and long sleeves. Fall is a great time to do this chore, you wouldn’t want to be wrestling insulation in your attic during the summer months! Speaking of summer, the extra insulation will also help to keep your home cooler in the warmer months, by acting as a buffer to the heat radiating down into the house. It’s an all season win-win.
Remove debris such as tree needles, leaves (and baseballs) from gutters to ensure unrestricted water flow. Check for pooling around downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Caulk gutter seams when it’s dry to avoid a constant drip spot, which could pool and later cause a dangerous ice patch. Secure gutter support brackets. Consider installing leaf guards, especially if you live in a particularly wooded area (I may have just referred to all of Squamish).
Windows and Doors
Double or triple paned windows are the ideal choice for energy efficiency as far as windows are concerned. If the thermal seal has broken (you’ll see condensation between the panes of glass), then it’s best to install new windows. If new windows aren’t in the budget, fill the gaps with caulking (both interior and exterior) and consider covering some windows with a plastic film such as bubble wrap using double sided tape, which may prove to be less unsightly than a whopping hydro bill. Install door sweeps on all exterior doors to reduce drafts.
Forced Air Homes – replace your furnace filter (you can add some essential oil drops if you want to be extra fancy), and clean/service your ductwork for complete heating system efficiency Electric Baseboard Homes – thoroughly clean the baseboards (including dusting the interior section of the unit Wood Burning Homes – an annual cleaning of your fireplace or woodstove is essential to not only the efficiency of the unit, but for the safety of your family. We recommend using Coast Chimney Services Ltd.; Chris is a local career firefighter with solid experience installing, servicing, and inspecting fire systems. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Electrical & Plumbing
Add foam insulation pads (gaskets) to your electrical outlets and switch plates and keep them covered when not in use. This tip is especially important for exterior wall outlets. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to push the warm air back down. Cover your hot water tank with a blanket. Turn off the water valve leading to your exterior hose bibs to prevent freezing.
BC Hydro offers rebates to stretch your electrical budget as well: https://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/savings-and-rebates/current-rebates-buy-backs/deals.html?WT.mc_id=f19_retailer_fall_referral_psca
In Squamish, we all love to play outside, but every once in a while, we need to thaw. With these tips, you can make the most of your real estate investment and enjoy a comfortable winter in your home. If you’re not sure who to contact to help you keep up with home maintenance, feel free to contact us at email@example.com for our list of local, vetted service providers.
Here’s to a enjoying all things fall!