Doing fall maintenance on the house could save big bucks and headaches later - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Clear
-0.9°C

Doing fall maintenance on the house could save big bucks and headaches later

Cleaning gutters and downspouts should be done in the fall to allow water to flow freely from the house to avoid floods and leaks.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Megan Cole
October 09, 2014 - 12:19 PM

VICTORIA - Spending time and money in the fall on home maintenance means homeowners avoid costly failures due to neglect, says a Victoria expert.

Chris Strong, a builder and owner of Strong Properties Inc., says the main reason to check important home systems, like drainage, during the fall is to avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars down the road.

"When you're talking about maintenance it is fairly cost effective," says Strong. "If you're talking about getting your drains looked at with a camera and cleaned, it could cost around $1,200. But if you get a block in the winter months and you end up with a flood, it could not only cause serious damage to your house, but also cost much more to repair."

Particularly in climates that get a lot of rain and wind, Strong recommends cleaning the gutters, downspouts and perimeter drains so that falling rain can flow freely away from the home.

Excess moisture from rain and snow can also lead to mould and rot if a homeowner fails to maintain painting, sealing and caulking, says Strong.

While keeping up a home's systems is important, Strong suggests homeowners also clean up and remove excess vegetation around their property.

"Keeping vegetation off the house is important to keep debris off the roof, which can cause blockages in the drainage and roof," says Strong. "In heavy winds and bad weather, trees that are at risk to your home because of disease or structural damage could fall onto a home. Removing large overhanging tree branches also prevents rodents from getting in a house."

Strong says rats and other rodents often use branches and tree limbs to gain access to a house in search of warmth and dryness in the winter.

Fall is a good time to take on home maintenance projects before the weather turns, but it is also a good time to take care of trees and vegetation around the property, which could impact the integrity of a home.

Glenn Chernick, a municipal arborist in Moose Jaw, Sask., says the majority of his pruning is done in the fall because the leaves have fallen, which allows him to easily see where a tree's structural deficiencies and disease might be.

Like Strong, Chernick says once the leaves are off the trees and bushes, a homeowner should take the time to rake those on the ground and clear any from gutters.

Skilled pruning along with basic care is important for a tree's health.

"One bit of tree-related work that is really important to do is, if you have ... shallow-rooted trees like birch trees, you want to make sure they get a really good watering after they drop all their leaves," he says.

Chernick recommends homeowners contact a certified arborist to take a look at any trees that are of concern or that they are considering pruning.

"I've seen a lot of people who think they know what they are doing," says Chernick. "For example I've seen people cut the top off a tree so it isn't as high. Usually that is a bad idea because where it is topped it introduces a whole bunch of bacterial pathogens into the tree and ends up killing it.

"You could have a tree that could live 200 or 300 years, but once it is topped you're lucky if you get another 20 years out of it."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • Rewards for missing pets occupy legal grey zone
    KELOWNA - John Brooke was walking in the woods near Glenrosa two weeks ago when his dog Gus went missing. Brooke said he lost sight of his dog and spent the next two hours whistling for him to no
  • UPDATE: No injuries in Trans-Canada Highway avalanche
    REVELSTOKE — The Trans-Canada Highway near Revelstoke is currently closed after an avalanche hit this afternoon. A small natural avalanche occurred 46 km east of Revelstoke at about 1
  • Salmon Arm man fined $3,000 for poaching cow moose
    SALMON ARM - A Salmon Arm man has been fined $3,000 and had two firearms confiscated for poaching a cow moose out of season. B.C. Conservation Officer Service spokesperson Tanner Beck said t
  • TRENDING NOW: Voice actress trolls scammer
    %%nodefaultimage%% Rosie Okumura is a California-based artist who likes to have a little fun with scammers. In the first part of the video she explains the scam that targets film indus
  • Sunny and warm in the Okanagan this week
    KELOWNA  - It looks like spring has arrived with a vengeance in the Okanagan a couple of days before the official date. Environment Canada is offering a simple forecast for the ent
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile