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Your fall property checklist

By SmartCoverage Team on September 20th, 2018

With every change of season, you should monitor your property to see if any maintenance is required to avoid costly damage to your home.

Taking these precautionary steps will protect your property from damage that could otherwise result in a home insurance claim.

Check on all plants, trees, and shrubs

Check the trees and plants around and above your property and prune them appropriately. Pay close attention to any tree branches that pose a hazard to the top or sides of your home. Winter storms can put pressure on branches, causing breakage and extensive property damage.

Trim the dead parts off trees and consider hiring an arborist to take care of any big jobs. Trained professionals have specialized equipment and knowledge to take care of risky branches easily and safely; the last thing you want is an injury on your property.

If trees are showing any early colour changes such as browning to pine needles or significant branch death, the tree might have a disease and you should get it assessed by a professional.

Rake it up

Sure, fall means gorgeous colours, but it also means lots and lots of falling leaves! Everything you’re looking at on a scenic walk will eventually hit the ground, and it’s up to you to periodically rake those leaves up when they fall on and around your property.

They may look nice covering your lawn, but leaving too many leaves before snowfall can negatively impact spring lawn growth. Further, leaving the leaves for the winter means a messier spring cleaning.

Clean gutters, check downspouts

Once you think most of the leaves have fallen from the trees above your property, it’s time to clean out all the clogged gutters and downspouts.

If you aren’t comfortable on a ladder, hire someone who specializes in gutter and eaves cleaning.

Leaving gutters and downspouts full of leaves will cause water to pool on your roof and fall down your siding, leading to water damage and a completely avoidable event!

Repair or block any exterior access points

Take a walk around your property and note any damage to your siding, roof, foundation or walls. If anything needs large fixes, schedule the work before it gets too cold.

Seal any gaps in your home where pests or critters may be able to enter. Mice only need a hole the size of a quarter (or less!) to squeeze through.

When winter approaches, pests are looking for warm places to make new winter homes-- don’t let it be yours.

Stock up on winter supplies

Before the winter season hits, use the fall season to check on what cold weather supplies you need to replace or restock. Check if your shovels are good for the plow or if you should finally buy a new one.

Pick up some pet-friendly sidewalk salt, restock on cold-weather emergency kits (for both your home and car) and check on the condition of your snow-blower.

Clean chimneys and check furnace

Very important maintenance is required for your working chimneys, furnaces or boilers.

Make sure your heating elements are in working order before you have to rely on them to keep warm.

Get your chimney swept or cleaned out, and make sure your boiler and furnace is in great working order. No one wants a surprise in this department come winter.

Consider adding a chimney cap to block up a potential entrance for pests.

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