The warm summer months are almost behind us now, and that means we only have a few weeks left of optimal outdoor weather in Southern Ontario to clean up around the house and get those home maintenance check-lists finished. Here are a few tips for homeowners to check, ensuring that they won’t have any nasty surprises over the winter.

Check the outside of your house for paint that is starting to crack or peel and re-paint those areas before the weather gets too cold. Cracks in your paint can lead to moisture getting into your home, which can lead to leaks, mould, and mildew.

Start Moving
With the cold weather approaching, take a look at your garage, shed, or any other outdoor-sensitive areas where you may be storing products that will freeze when it gets cold. Doing this now could save you a lot of clean-up if anything splits or falls apart. Some items to look out for include some types of paint, stored foods or drinks, and of course plants, liquid fertilizer, or anything you just don’t want exposed to the elements over the winter.

If you know you’re not going to use the patio furniture or other outdoor items, now is a good time to start putting those things away too, saving you time in October.

Take a look at any filters in your home, whether it’s for your furnace, grates, or even for drinking water or anything else. It’s good to have a schedule to change these filters, and generally every two months works for many products, but check your instruction manuals, or the filters themselves for instructions.

This is also a good time to start looking for drafts in your home and sealing them up, whether they’re caused by failures in your caulking, trims, or around doors and windows. Going around major areas, like doors and windows first, is a good idea, and then move on to other areas. If you’re concerned about your roof as well, now is a good time to inspect it for cracked shingles, holes, or anything else and fix them to keep critters out of your attic over the winter and spring.

Air Conditioning & Summer Equipment
If you use temporary air conditioning units or other summer equipment like dehumidifiers, September is a good time to put them away since it’s fairly unlikely that you will need them during the second half of the month, or leading into October. Otherwise, take the time to also start covering anything that requires it for fall and winter.

Take a couple of hours and go through your home to dust and vacuum any heaters or heating elements to be sure they’re ready for when you need them. It’s a small job that you’ll appreciate having done when you need to turn up the heat in a couple of weeks.

Take care of any indoor work that may require open windows or good ventilation. Whether you need to shampoo your carpet, paint a room, or varnish or stain something, September is a good time to accomplish this before it gets too cold to leave windows open. Cold temperatures can also make it harder for some products to dry properly, especially varnish, so it’s wise to get those projects finished before October.

Get Help
When in doubt, make sure to look for help on any projects that you just can’t complete, or where you’re unsure how to handle it. Getting a professional involved, particularly for big projects, can be a wise idea rather than risk creating bigger, costlier problems in the future.

Heritage Home Design can get you a quote for replacing your windows and doors quickly and efficiently, before the winter months lead to drafts and leaks.

Image courtesy of Flickr.