Now that Halloween is behind us, changes are all around us preparing for winter. The shopping malls are already putting up the holiday decorations, the giant tree is getting erected, and people are doing their holiday shopping hoping not to put it off until the last moment this year. Outside winter home preparation should be at the top of your mind for homeowners in order to safeguard their home and keep their families safe and warm. Follow these simple tips to be sure your home is prepared once old Saint Nick makes his rounds.
- Gutters: Inspect and clean out the gutters above your home. This system diverts thousands of gallons of water away from your home keeping damage to your walls and basement to a minimum. Be sure that if there is any corrosion, holes or cracks that they are repaired or replaced, especially over entryways and doors. Divert water run off so water runs at least 3-4 feet away from the foundation.
- Roof: Take a really close look at your roof for any damage or curled shingles. Roofers have a harder time fixing leaks in the winter months because of the weather, be sure to be in contact with one before the wet season hits in order to avoid larger damage and an uncomfortable disaster of a holiday gathering.
- Sidewalks and Driveways: Check for damage and cracks that can be a danger during wet and icy weather. Look for cracks larger than ⅛ inch wide or erosion to asphalt and fix it yourself. Catching these things when they are small will save a larger headache later if the problem gets bigger.
- Outside faucets and Underground Irrigation Systems: Be sure that these do not freeze and burst during the winter by draining them. Close any of the shut-off valves and drain any hoses, and follow the manufacturer’s procedure for draining irrigation systems.
- Lawn Care: Instead of raking your leaves, mow them into mulch. Cutting the leaves into dime sized pieces will allow them to fall into the grass blades and nourish your lawn during the winter months.
- Trees and Shrubs: Don’t prune them until late winter. You will want to wait until the plant has been dormant a while and right before the Spring in order to encourage growth. The exception to this is for tree limbs that may cause damage to the home, driveway or power lines if a major storm hits, be sure to check and remove these before the winter is in full force.
- Winter Essentials: Be sure to restock the winter essentials like salt and ice melt before you get caught up by the first snow of the season.
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