Aug 30, 2021

Home Maintenance

Labour (of Love) Day

Labour Day weekend is a good time to tackle your to-do list as we head into the colder months. Here's what to do!

Labour Day is the perfect time to tackle those tasks you’ve been putting off the past couple months. We get it, endless summer is luxurious, and the last thing you want to do is spend your weekends tidying up around the house.

Enter: Labour Day long weekend, the perfect time to tackle those tasks before fall arrives. Here a few one-day projects that you can fit into your long weekend that will leave you feeling like you can conquer the world.  

Last spring, we checked in with Rümi’s Certified Professional Home Inspector for some great spring shoulder season tips. We know you followed this advice and got your home in absolute tip-top shape for summer. Now it’s time to do the same prep for fall.

We asked our pros to help us out with some wise words of wisdom for fall, and they didn’t let us down.  

Your furnace room

The furnace room really doesn’t get enough love. Let's face it: we never invite friends over and say, “Hey, let’s hang out in the furnace room.” Instead, we toss in the clutter we want to hide, close the door and forget all about this appliance that works so hard for us.  

Now’s the time to go hang out with your furnace for a little while. We really can’t stress this one enough: Have your furnace serviced before wintertime. We all know how fast and early that first blizzard arrives.  

Furnace companies are usually much busier in the winter, so make an appointment early and get ahead of all your procrastinating neighbours.  

Pro tip: If you want to tackle some furnace DIY before your maintenance appointment, you can clean and change your humidifier filter and drain your hot water tank. If you’ve got questions, book some virtual time to Ask a Home Inspector. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.  

Outside your home

Take advantage of one of those crisp, clear days and head outside. Complete a 360 walk around your house. Just like you did in the spring, look for signs of any animals like squirrels, gophers or birds trying to live under your deck or crawl spaces. If you see signs of critters nesting or resting in these spaces, block them off.  

Next, you’ll want to clean up the yard. Remove branches and debris, rake the lawn then add some seed and fertilizer before the ground freezes. That way your lawn can rest under a blanket of snow and throughout the winter covered in nutrients.

And as soon as you feel a nip in the air, shut off the exterior water and drain your sprinkler system. It won’t be long before the temperature dips below freezing, and you’ll want to be ready.  

Pro tip: While you’re checking your exterior, carry a small can of paint with you. Touch up any woodwork as you go along. You’ll want all your wood surfaces to be sealed up before the snow flies to prevent moisture and rotting. If you discover a small can of paint isn’t enough, it might be time to call in some professional exterior painters, or book them early for next spring.  

Inside your home

This is where you want to check things out top to bottom. Maybe throw in a few good neck exercises here, because you’ll be looking up in the attic, down in the basement, under your sinks and up to your ceilings.  

First, look for leaks. Check your attic, basement and crawl spaces for leaks or moisture buildup. Tiny drips can add up to massive headaches in no time. If you can’t figure out (or fix) where the water’s coming from, you’ll need some help with plumbing and repair before mushrooms start sprouting from your floorboards.  

You don’t want to see water on the floor or walls, but you do want to make sure the P-traps in your floor drains are filled with water. Water in the curve of the pipe acts like a plug to stop sewer gasses from seeping into your home. There’s a reason air fresheners don’t come in that particular scent.

If your home is already reaping the benefits of a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), make sure you wash or replace the filter so it’s ready to be its best, most efficient self when it needs to be. If you’d like to install an HRV to control your humidity and cut down on your energy use, we can help with that too.  

Pro Tip: Don't forget to change the direction on your ceiling fan! In the fall and winter, it should be turning clockwise to create an upward draft and push warm air down.  


We know it’s always safety first – so we saved the best for last. (See what we did there?) These three quick tips don’t take long, but they’re oh-so-important. You can do them during a commercial break or while your breakfast smoothie is blending, and they could save your life.  

  1. Test your smoke detectors and CO alarms. Are the batteries fresh?
  2. Check your fire extinguisher. Has it expired? Is there any corrosion around the nozzle?  
  3. Tuck a small shovel, ice scraper and bag of salt (or kitty litter) in the trunk of your car.  

If you’d rather not do any labour on Labour Day (we don’t blame you), consider getting Rümi to come tackle your to-do list or sign up for a service bundle. And there you have it. Follow our fall shoulder season tips, and your home will be ready for winter blizzards — even if you’re not.

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