Presented by iA Auto and home insurance
In Quebec, we’re fortunate to have four distinctly beautiful seasons. However, this brings with it a lot of chores to be done.
When the leaves start to fall and the cold weather begins to set in, we know it’s time to put on our gloves and pick up our rake: it’s time to prepare the yard for winter.
Here’s a checklist of outdoor chores to do around your home before the fall season ends.
Start by draining your garden hoses and storing them indoors. This will help prevent freeze damage to your plumbing, potentially causing extensive water damage.
It’s recommended that you clean your chimney every year. Since you’ll want to enjoy your fireplace without hassle this winter, have a chimney sweep come out to clean it.
Landscaping and garden
Remove any annual flowers. They’re easier to remove in late fall than in spring. Plus, your flower bed will look better once the snow melts and you can simply plant your new flowers when the time comes.
If your perennials have grown too much this year, take the time to divide them and replant them.
Take the opportunity to add some nutrients to the soil: adding mulch or compost will prepare the soil for spring.
If you had potted plants outside, bring them indoors, making sure to treat them for pests first.
Tips: Plant bulbs before winter. When spring arrives, you’ll have beautiful blooming tulips and daffodils.
Prune any damaged branches then protect the shrubs by wrapping them in a cloth. This will protect them from wind, cold and the weight of snow.
Rake the leaves from your yard and put them in paper bags. Check with your municipality for fall collection dates.
Once the leaves have been raked up, fertilize your lawn after mowing it one last time. It will be greener when the warm weather returns.
The swimming season is over, so it’s time to winterize your pool. Start by removing all the accessories. Then you can lower the water level and drain the pipes. You’ll also need to clean and protect the skimmer and store the filter and pump.
Patio and shed
Clean your patio furniture and store it away from wind and snow in the shed or garage. Also store your gardening accessories and replace them with your shovels and snow brooms.
Before you put your grill away for winter, clean the grates, burners and inside the grill. Take the opportunity to check their general condition. Once your barbecue is clean, store it indoors (shed or garage) without the propane tank. Make sure the tank is still in the upright position and that the valve is closed. If you’re planning to BBQ during the winter, remember to keep your grill a reasonable distance away from your house.
Roof, windows and foundation
Take a walk around your house to look for cracks that could let water in. If you find one, it’s recommended that you call in a professional who can do a thorough inspection and confirm the extent of the damage.
Make sure your windows are properly insulated. An air leak could quickly add to your electricity bill. Replace the caulking where needed.
When the leaves have finished falling, it’s time to clean your eavestroughs to avoid water infiltration in the spring. Also, make sure they’re securely fastened.
Replace burnt-out bulbs. It’s more pleasant and safer to do it at this time of year than in the middle of a snowstorm at -30°C.
It’s important to know that some water damage is covered by your home insurance, for example, if your dishwasher hose breaks or your bathtub overflows. However, in some cases, you’ll need to add additional coverage to cover damage caused by water entering above and below ground (including sewer backup). Don’t hesitate to ask your agent about this when you request a home insurance quote; he or she will be happy to advise you.
Now you’re ready for winter and can cozy up inside with peace of mind. The time you invest in the fall could save you a whole lot of trouble during winter and in the spring.