Prepping for Old Man Winter

leaf-2012_1280Old Man Winter is certainly not here yet, but his expected (and for some people, unwelcome) arrival is just around the corner. The busyness of summer vacation and play is over and the kids are now settled in their school and sports routines. Now that we have a moment of rest and can breathe before the holiday season begins in a month (!), this is the perfect time to take care of those things around the home that you may have been procrastinating about or perhaps never even thought of.

Just as you regularly change the oil of your car and periodically take it in for inspections, so too should you be looking at your home with a critical eye and pinpointing chores and maintenance repairs that may have eluded you in the summer months. These preventative chores can make the difference of a roof leak or less expensive electric bill. Here is a check list of things to do before the cold weather comes in full force.

Clean Gutters

This basic action should always be first on a home to do list. Summer storms and falling autumn leaves love to build up in our gutters, causing blockages that prohibit the rain and snow from efficiently draining through the pipes. This build up could cause a leak in your home, so you definitely want to pull out the ladder and gloves and tackle this project first!

Check Your Roof

Winds and storms can damage the shingles on your roof. Take time to carefully inspect your roof for broken or mangles shingles, focusing around the chimney or any wiring and antennas.

Put Away Outdoor Furniture

Now that the summer patio or swim parties are over, put your outside furniture in storage. These furniture pieces and cushions aren’t built to survive single digit temperatures and are costly to replace.

Check for Cracks

Look at your windows and doors. Are there cracks that could let in cold air? Caulking these holes can save your some significant dollars as you begin to heat your home.

Service Your Furnace

Before you light up the furnace for the first time, consider hiring a professional to take a look at your heating system. Broken belts and clogged pipes can affect the performance of your furnace, and waiting until the last minute can make your family cold and unhappy.

Clean the Chimney

If you are so fortunate as to have a fire place to warm yourself on a cold winter’s night, make sure it is cleaned before lighting it up the first time of the season. Hiring a chimney sweep can safeguard your home against a devastating fire resulting from build-up in the flue, whether by past fires or uninvited critters.

Smoke Monitors

We all know that when we “fall back” or “spring forward” we need to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. If you haven’t done this yet, stop what you are doing and keep your family safe by completing this task now.

We’d be happy to help with any of this. Just let us know!