Michael Tudorie's Home Maintenance Tips: November

With the wet and windy weather hitting Vancouver, and snow covering the local mountains, there are many things to prepare for at this time of the year.

Battening down the hatches for winter weather now means you can stay warm, dry and relaxed before the cold weather kicks in.

Starting outside, here are my Home Maintenance tips to complete in November.

1. Clean gutters and downspouts

Wait until most of the leaves have fallen to schedule a gutter cleaning. Ideally on a dry day, (or hire a professional), inspect all gutters and downspouts for cracks and loose parts, and make repairs as needed. Clear leaves from the gutters and ensure water can flow freely to the downpipe.

2. Check paths, stairs and railings for safety

While it’s unlikely we’ll be having too many visitors coming to our homes this month due to Covid-19 restrictions, it’s still important to ensure your garden paths and stairs are cleared and not slippery under foot. Take a walk around your home’s exterior, paying special attention to walkways, stairs and railings, and make repairs as needed.

3. Trim dead tree limbs and remove the last of the fall leaves

During winter storms, there is a much higher chance that dead branches will come crashing down. Hire an arborist to inspect and trim larger trees. Spend an afternoon raking and bagging up last of the fall leaves – this will also make Spring cleaning much easier, while ensuring your pathways remain safe. This one is important to complete before it snows!

4. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses for winter

Disconnect, drain and roll hoses before storing them for the winter. Shut off the water supply to exterior faucets to prevent frozen pipes (if you have a hose in the garage – make sure you shut this one off too!)

Moving indoors

5. Fix plumbing issues before the winter crunch

Plumbers experience their busiest time of the year as we enter the colder months, especially around Christmas. Get ahead of the crunch and pay special attention to your home’s plumbing. If you have a slow drain, stuck garbage disposal or finicky toilet – get it fixed now! Don’t wait until the busy holiday season, when it may be harder to find an available plumber.

6. Replace floor protectors on chairs

Don’t let furniture damage to your hardwood floors: Check their feet and add or replace felt pads for added protection. Felt pads are highly recommended; they are cheap, easy to install and come in self-adhesive and nail-in varieties.

7. Check bathtub caulk

Give your bathrooms a deep clean and take a look at the caulk around the tub. Cracked or worn-out caulk can allow water to seep into your home’s framing. If you spot a problem area, get it replaced as soon as possible.