The leaves are starting to fall from the trees, it’s getting darker earlier and most people have broken out their heavy coats. While it may not officially be here, winter is certainly coming. Before the weather gets too unbearable, there are a few things you should do to make sure your home is in tip-top shape for the cold and snow that’s sure to come in the next few months.
Make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris. It is recommended that you clean your gutters in the spring and the fall, but if you haven’t gotten to it, now is the time. Ice dams can form in a clogged gutters and prevent melting snow from draining off the roof. This can cause damage to both your roof and your siding.
Purchase a roof rake. Large amounts of dense snow can play havoc on your roof. If temperatures stay cold, that snow can sit for days, or even weeks, and weigh down your roof. With a roof rake, you can push the snow off the roof from the safety of the ground.
Keep an eye on your trees. Do you have beautiful trees surrounding your house? Be careful, these can cause problems when the snow and ice start falling. Branches can easily get weighed down and snap, damaging your home. When you have a winter storm, help out your trees by knocking off excess snow and relieving some of the weight. Your roof rake is a great tool to get those hard-to-reach branches.
Prepare your pipes. Exposed pipes can be a nightmare come winter time. Nobody wants to lose water due to a burst pipe. To avoid this, wrap all exposed pipes in foam insulation. Turn off the water to outdoor spigots and drain the lines. When the temperatures get really low, leave your faucets on a trickle to keep the water moving and help prevent freezing.
Clean your Fireplace. Nothing’s better than curling up in front of the fire place with a cup of hot cocoa on a cold night, but chances are, your fireplace hasn’t been used in months. Make sure it’s ready to go by getting it cleaned. Birds’ nests and debris can accumulate in your chimney over the spring and summer months, causing either a clog or a fire hazard. Either way, a clean flue is a good way to make sure you stay safe this winter.
If you need help with these maintenance projects, Long & Foster’s Home Service Connections can connect you with a professional near you. Visit HomeServiceConnections.com for more information.