Preparing the Outside of Your House for Winter
The leaves are changing colors. The Halloween decorations are out. Thanksgiving is around the corner. Now comes that sad ritual of preparing the outside of your house for winter. Here are some reminders.
- Check your roof. Before the weather turns you’ll want to have your roof inspected for damaged, loose or missing shingles. They can leak and cause extensive damage if not repaired.
- Check your gutters and downspouts. Once the leaves are off the trees, clean the gutters to make sure water runs freely through the gutters and then down through the downspouts. Consider adding extensions to the downspouts so water runs at least three to four feet away from the foundation.
- Check drainage. Once that water flows through your downspouts, make sure there are no places for water to pool around the foundation of your house. Water can seep in, cracking the foundation and paving the way for flooding. If you find a low spot, fill it with soil. And then make sure the water flows away from your house.
- Shut down your pool and sprinkler system. It’s also a good time to have the pool inspected, since inspectors are not as busy in the fall as they are in the spring. For the sprinkler system, make sure the system is completely blown out. If you are not sure how to do either of these, hire a professional.
- Drain outside faucets. Don’t just shut them off. Make sure all the water is drained from them. When the weather turns cold, water will freeze and expand, causing the faucet to crack. Also shut off the outside water spigot, and put the hoses away.
- Maintain your lawn and yard equipment. Drain the gas on gas-powered devices. But if you plan on putting that drained gas in your car, make sure it is the right gas.
- Get your snow blower ready. Try to start it BEFORE the first snowfall.
- Make sure you have salt. You need to be ready when the moisture turns to ice. You don’t want people falling on your driveway or porch.
- Cover your patio furniture. And store the cushions someplace warm. But make sure they are dry when you do so.
- Tree pruning. Here’s a “don’t.” Although it may be tempting to prune your trees after the leaves fall, experts say to wait until late winter.
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