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Preparing Your Home For Winter
You’re ready. You’ve got hats, gloves, hand warmers, hot chocolate and a thick jacket. You’re prepared for winter, but is your home ready to brace the cold? A long cold season is just up ahead, and it’s a good time to make sure you’ve got your winter checklist covered before the cold rolls in. Here are some items that should be on your winter checklist.
1. Clean Your Gutters
Since clogged gutters aren’t something you look at every day, you may easily overlook this important maintenance task. Cluttered gutters don’t drain properly – this can cause damage to your backyard landscaping and to the drainage system itself.
A gutter filled with undrained water can freeze, and the added weight can cause it to pull away from your home – it may even fall off altogether!
It is a good idea to do the outdoor work before it gets too cold, and before a little task turns into a big problem. It’s a good idea to break out a ladder, put on a pair of gloves, and get down into the crevices of your gutters. With a little luck, you can complete this task in less than an hour.
2. Tune Up the Heater
You’ll thank me later. It’s a good idea to have a technician inspect your furnace or heat pump before winter comes. It is important to be sure the heating system is clean and that it works properly. The inspection should cost around $80-$100, and at the very least, the technician can change the filter in your boiler, which adds a year of life onto your boiler.
3. Repair Roof Damage
Hail and windstorms can loosen shingles and expose your roof to damage during winter weather. Whats worse, if your area had a hailstorm, your roof may have damage that you cannot see. Thus, it is important to have your roof evaluated by a qualified roof inspector, and if necessary, contact your insurance for assistance in repairing a damaged roof.
4. Plant (and Transplant) Your Flowerbed
Many people may not realize that now is a good time to plant. Bulb plants like tulips or irises need to be planted ahead of time and will stay safe underground until spring. Planting and transplanting now will give them a little leg up, so those plants will be ready in the spring.
5. Plan Ahead for Snow
It might seem simple, but if you need to buy a new snow shovel, now is the right time. Don’t wait until the first snowfall to get a new shovel. For those Rochester snow days, buy board games for when you’re stuck inside the house because of an ice storm.