The cool breezes of Autumn may bring relief from the summer heat, but for home owners, they also bring a reminder that it's time to start fixing, cleaning, and preparing for Winter weather.
If certain tasks are left undone, say the home and building inspectors from the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI), then a home becomes increasingly vulnerable to air, moisture, and water penetration, which may eventurally cause structural problems. Whether done by the home owner or by a professional service contractor, preventative maintenance will prolong the efficiency and lifespan of a home's many components.
In addition to any obvious repairs that might be necessary, CAHPI recommends that home owners tend to the following each Fall in order to prevent minor problems from turning into major expenses.
- Inspect the roof, using binoculars, for damaged, loose, or missing shingles. Repair as needed.
- Check the flashing around roof stacks, vents, skylights, and chimneys as possible sources of leakage. Repair as needed.
- Look for leaking, misaligned, or damaged gutters, downspouts, hangers, gutter guards, and strainers. Clean the gutters after all the leaves have fallen.
- Cut back tree limbs growing on or over the roof, as well as shrubbery growing against the house, to prevent damage to the home's exterior.
- Check all doors and windows for proper caulking and weather-stripping. Remove any worn or decayed materials and apply new materials as needed.
- Drain exterior water lines, hose bibs, sprinklers, and pool equipment. (Do Not leave hose connected to bib).
- Have heating system serviced annually (Fall is the best time).
- Have the home you are considering on purchasing, inspected by a qualified home inspector, to obtain a complete report on th home's condition. Ask the home inspector what professional home inspectors' association he is a member of, and check his credentials with them.
For further information on Home Inspections, or to obtain the names of qualified home inspectors in your area, visit the website: www.cahpi.ca